Wednesday, April 8, 2015

If you have an eating disorder, and are thinking about Whole30

There's one line in the Whole30 materials that are probably the most famous/infamous:
“It is not hard. Don’t you dare tell us this is hard. Quitting heroin is hard. Beating cancer is hard. Drinking your coffee black. Is. Not. Hard. You won’t get any coddling, and you won’t get any sympathy for your ‘struggles’.”
But some folks who had food addiction took them to task for that language. And the Whole30 official response was this compassionate post: Sometimes, it is hard.

While I have struggled with mildly out of control eating from time to time, I have not (and through no credit of my own) had the long-term, serious struggle that many do. So reading the comments was very educational for me. Might be for you, too. Here are a few:

"I’m in tears because your re-write showed a kindness in reference to my eating disorder that I do not usually come across. I’ve tried to explain the same thing to people, but no one ever seems to understand. The chemistry in my brain and in my body does not work the same way it does for other people."

"Having watched my Mom battle food addiction as long as I’ve been alive, I commend you for your re-write aimed at those with disordered eating. Even for me, I’ve been struggling with starting a Whole30 because I needed to understand it perfectly before I could begin... I’m so relieved to know it isn’t just me. Thank you for being compassionate enough to frame it in a way the rest of us can utilize as well."

"Anyone who.has been to an AA meeting can attest to the fact that recovering alcoholics are usually carb addicts. Whether it is just a.symptom of an addictive personality or whether it is the same ...problem creating both sets of cravings is a question worth studying. This speaks to how food affects the addict, and how much determination there is required to resist temptation. They deserve our respect and congratulations for continued determination."

"Then I... realized something big. I eat paleo. Not just some of the time – all the time.... I actually cook almost every meal at home and don’t even think twice about it anymore. I stand up for myself in restaurants and make sure I’m eating what I want to put in my body. Better still, I don’t count calories, I don’t starve myself, and I love my body even though it isn’t perfect. That’s the best thing in the world – loving myself....
"When I accidentally ran across this website many months ago, I never imagined all this. But, it wasn’t just learning to eat in a much better way, it was about learning to forgive myself and get right back on the horse when I fell off. Thank you."

"I am a recovering addict and an addictions counselor. When I first heard about The Whole30... I thought it sounded ridiculous and dangerous for anyone prone to addictive behavior. After reading through much of the site, and even before today’s rewrite, I have come to appreciate how balance and perspective are a theme throughout the program."

Interested in Whole30? I could just give you a quick link to the "About" page, but the first time I did that, I read about halfway through and thought, "These people are nuts!" and clicked back out of the site.

But I keep hearing stories about people's lives being changed by this way of eating, so I kept reading more and more, finally reading It Starts With Food. Then it began to make sense.

Do I buy into all their assumptions and theories? No, but I think there's something to it, so we're trying it. I hope to start blogging about our journey soon.

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