30 Bananas a Day!


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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This is wonderful advice. You are very wise and compassionate. I see a therapist who specializes in eating disorders, and he is so smart and wonderful, he just doesn't understand the whole 80 10 10 HCRV thing and sees it as another eating disorder, which it is not. As a result, I just don't talk with him about this lifestyle specifically and I just talk about the changes I want to make surrounding being healthier with my eating habits. He is so helpful and supportive and gives wonderful advice that I can directly apply to this lifestyle and with my eating behaviors. I wish there were therapists that specialized in this lifestyle, I guess that is what Freelee is to an extent and all the other mentors, haha, I never thought about it that way before. You are right about eating enough. I am aiming for 2500 a day, but there is still that voice in my head that says you will be happier and feel better about yourself and your body and won't need to worry about gaining weight as much if your calories end up being closer to 2000 than to 2000. I hate that voice, and when I am doing well with this way of eating I almost always eat closer to 2500 calories despite that voice telling me I am going to feel sorry about doing that. It's like I love to eat medjool dates. Yuummmm. I could eat pounds and pounds of medjool dates. They are my favorite. Dried Turkish figs, too. But I don't eat the dates and figs as much as I would like to because the dates are so high in calories and not water rich and so I am afraid that (1) I will gain weight because they are calorie dense and I like them so much and so I will eat a lot of them and gain weight (it is really hard for me to control myself with them when I start eating them. And (2) since they don't have a lot of water in them I can eat so many of them without getting that full feeling and so then I end up eating like 2000 calories in a sitting and feel horrible about myself and worry about gaining weight and then end up usually going back to calorie counting on SAD food the next day between 1800-2000 to try to stabilize my weight. I am trying to fight my way out of this cycle. And looking to people like Freelee is really helpful as well as hearing encouragement from people like you to stay the course and that everything will work out. It's scary to hear that I WILL gain weight because that is a huge fear of mine, and I just hope I will have the guts and strength to stick it out so that I can move past that phase and see that the weight gain will not be permanent. I just want to know how long I can expect the weight gain phase to last and then for the stabilization/drop in weight to begin. Do you know anything about that? Also, if I eat 2500 now, should I try to increase my calories at any point, or should I just stick to 2500, how do you know if you need more?  

You need to exercise and burn the extra calories you are eating. Obviously your body wants them if you can eat 2000 calories of dates in a sitting. Eat them in the form of dateorade if you worried about not enough water. If you are burning that fruit for fuel, you're not going to gain much weight, and if you do, it'll be in the form of muscle, not fat.

Thank you, Jennifer, I'm glad what I wrote was helpful.  Perhaps you could tell that voice... "Listen, I know you are scared and really want to stay safe.  Would you be willing to let go and trust the process?"

I suggest you buy yourself lots of dates and eat as much as you want as often as you want.  

Try this one time.  Get some fruit that you really like.  Go to a really nice place, like a sunny bench in the park under a blooming lilac tree.  Or any other special place that makes you feel good (and that you're allowed to eat at).  And just eat as much as you want.  If you find yourself getting nervous or the old calorie-counting thoughts coming in, just say the words, "Please help me trust."  And take some deep breaths.  And keep eating.  Eat until the taste of the fruit is no longer appealing.  As long as it tastes sweet and delicious, you need more of it!

The weight is unimportant.  Your fear of it is real because you believe in it... Like the monster under the bed when you were a kid.  It's o.k. to be scared.  But I promise, there is no monster.

best things you can do..

throw out the scale

focus on how your body feels

give your body some self compassion. actually FEEL your inner body and what it is telling you. don't jump straight into your head.

make a list of changes you are making for HEALTH.. not for VANITY

self compassion again! really! you wouldn't be so cruel to a friend, be kind to yourself

focus on being physically fit. what are your running times? hiking times? are you out of breath on the treadmill/stair climber? focus on getting fit and strong with your bod.. not a number on the scale

I have thrown out my scale and not weighed myself in almost a month now. It is very freeing but also makes me worry that the numbers are just climbing and climbing and one day I am going to jump on the scale and then be like "OMG!!!" Hopefully if/when that day comes I will be well into this lifestyle and not even care what the number says because I will look and feel great. 

Hi Jenifer,

First let me start by saying that this rings very true to my own personal experience. Perhaps sharing my own personal journey might ring true with you.

At 13 I developed an eating disorder that slowly began to consume my whole life. I thought that food was the crux of all my issues-- if I could lose weight and have a flat belly I could be perfect, follow my dreams, love myself.... right? After two years of trying different vegan diets (I was vegan prior to the onset of the disorder), losing weight, yo-yo eating, hating myself, and spiraling into isolated anger and depression, my parents intervened and got me therapy.

Therapy helped me immensely-- I won't deny that. However, I feel that current therapy methods simply try to bring your ego down to a normal level (an eating disorder is like a second ego in your brain!).  I was craving a more meaningful path to embark on. During a spring/summer of moving across the county, I was no longer restricting, but was, at times, eating with abandon, and searching for the perfect method of control. The 30 BAD folks don't believe in emotional eating, but my understaing tells me that it is true for me.

In fall of last year I found Eckhart Tolle's book "A New Earth". I realized that I had a lot more work to do! A couple months later I stumbled upon the 80/10/10 diet through a flier advertising a raw retreat to Costa Rica. Everything fell into place and in January I went to Costa Rica. For that one week I felt amazing-- could life truly be this wonderful, joyful, passionate? Could I have truly this much energy and zest?

When I returned back to the US, I took a turn for the worse. I told myself that my life sucks-- why am I stuck here in Michigan when I know what my vision is. I was disgusted with myself, for the fact that I knew what my calling was. I KNEW what I had to do. But I was too fearful. Just being 80/10/10 isn't gonna fix that. Eating mega calories doesn't change the fact that I am scared to follow my dreams. For the past few months, I have basically been a mess!

My point is, whether or not you are 100% LFRV, you will need to get down to the end of the hole where you will discover the source of all your misery. Ony recently did I find mine-- it's someting everyone talks about all the time. I never fully understood the full repercussions of it until now. After weeks of a crippling relapse into depression, I found myself at the realization that I could not expect my attempts at the perfect diet and exercise on myself to work. Why? It's simple: I don't love myself. I can't commit acts of love for myself if I don't actually like myself. I don't think I ever have-- all my life, I directed everything at myself and projected it onto other people and projects (for instance, diet).

For you, I think that it's more important that you commit to stripping away all the BS. You don't have to take perfect care of yourself while you figure out where your hangup is. I am currently addicted to chocolate and eating all the gourmet raw food I can (I work at a restaurant). But that didn't change the fact that my depression led me to the source of my unhappiness. I am still rather unhappy, and yet I feel liberated!

All of a sudden, things are happening and events are lining up. If all goes well, I will be in Maui in a month, living in a permaculture community, and interning with a farm animal sanctuary. I am not all raw. I am not taking perfect care of myself. But I feel something changing inside of me. A fire is lighting and I can tell that everything I used to have to force on myself will follow naturally.

I wish you all the best on your journey.

Wow, so many of the things you said I can directly relate to. First, I love Eckhart Tolle. I have read his books over and over again. They have inspired me so much and I feel that when I am in the process of reading them that I am experiencing some type of higher existence and understanding of the universe. I love when I hear that people have connected to his writing and teachings as well. I need to read A New Earth again, I think it would really help me now with more self love and compassiona and being at peace with the present moment instead of always fighting with it and living for a future that never really arrives. Like you, I too feel that I do not love myself. I am always telling myself in my head that I am mean, selfish, bad, ugly, useless, irritable etc. It is horrible. I know in my heart that I am a good person, but that I am just filled with this ego that is made up of fears that makes me think such horrible things about myself as well as act in ways that are not true to myself at times. Good luck to you on your journey, and good for you for not being so hard on yourself that you are not being "perfect" at every moment with your eating and life choices. I think by being more relaxed and compassionate with yourself you actually are being "perfect" as love and compassion and presence is everyones true nature. 

Hey, it may not mean much because I am only one week into this thing, but I can already tell that when I haven't pumped myself with enough fruit, the cravings come. It seems really strange to EAT EAT EAT EAT EAT because of what we have been told, and how we feel when we EAT EAT EAT cooked food, but it makes sense. I notice my stomach becomes empty so fast on this diet, and if I haven't filled it enough, I will crave something before my next meal.

Like today, it felt a little strange to fit the bunch and a half of bananas, dates, apple, kiwis and tomatoes in me between waking up at 6:30 am, eating all that food, and then walking out the door ten minutes later, but it was more than I was able to fit yesterday, and so my cravings didn't come in until much closer to when I can take my break at 1pm. Now as you're reading this, my stomach is completely empty and hungry for more.

I work in a grocery store as well, there is cheese, coffee, candy, and chocolate DIRECTLY within my reach at ALL times, and eating is somewhat encouraged. Trust your gut but not your head telling you to go back to the comfort foods. if you're hungry, eat more! I've noticed greens take me a little longer to digest than fruit, so pump yourself full of kale and maybe you'll stay full longer!

Stay strong! You're hungry because your body is empty, not because you're overeating and getting fat!!

Thank you for this encouragement. You are rights that I need to focus on the hunger in my gut and not in my head. I very often get the two things mixed up and that is what really creates all my problems. My head telling me I "should" or "shouldn't" eat, I need to listen to my body instead and tell my head to go take a much needed break. Best of luck to you as well!

You may want to switch to swimming or other non-jarring exercise for a while to let your tissues recover.  I got runner's knee and just stopped exercise for three weeks to recover.  That time let me concentrate on the diet part of my life...lfrv being only in the third month...so cravings and binges on complex carbs happened at least a couple of times a week.  The effects though have been immediate on my digestion...and after reading 80-10-10, it is so clear how damaging all other foods are to our health.  I've gone from 170lbs to 158lbs in those three months on the 80-10-10...eating as much fruit as i can...and having lots of tender greens.  i've gotten rid of all my supplements and have never felt better.  I suggest that you count your calories as your banana and strawberry breakfast example does not seem near enough for an active person...(estimating about 500 calories there..where you should be 850ish for your 2500cal day).

I would like to try swimming for exercise sometimes. Hopefully I can this summer as there is an outdoor pool near me that I can use. I am just a little hesitant when it comes to being in all that chlorine, as it seeps into the pours and it's so easy to just accidentally ingest a mouthful of pool water while swimming. I am going to focus on not being afraid of hitting the 2500 mark and getting in enough at each meal. I have always liked eating a lot at dinner time which means that I will eat less for breakfast and lunch. I need to change that habit.   

tim galloway author of the inner game of tennis says

never try to break bad habits - just start good new ones.

in friendship,




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