but yes, constant awareness and vigilance
I need to address the good-natured objections of people who say “it’s a restrictive diet.” “It makes social eating all-but impossible.” “You used to be crazy-obsessive about tracking everything you ate and now you’re doing it again.” “It’s even a calorie-restricted diet.” “If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck…”
Believe me, I understand the concern. I’ve been around myself-and-eating-disorders long enough. I hope it’s reassuring to hear that I’m monitoring my own obsessiveness, am keeping tabs on tendencies to restrict too stringently, and have set the intention to be able to keep myself in balance without always having to weigh/measure/track.
Here’s some more on how to distinguish between a therapeutic dietary strategy and an eating disorder.
first of many posts on this
A strict ketogenic diet has taken me:
From a near-constant state of brain pain and agitation (ranging from irritability/anxiety to outright psychosis, from suicidal depression to suicidal mania) to ambient calm and peacefulness.
From a near-constant state of severe gut pain to occasional lower levels of pain, and still improving.
From a near-constant obsessive preoccupation with food, calories, diet, body image to conviction that I know what I need to do and can focus on more important things.
How, how, HOW?! (lots to say about this in posts to come)
And--how ironic that food obsession has been cured by what really is a strict diet, given that most eating-disorder treatment focuses on getting patients to give up strict rules. When I explain why/how the ketogenic diet is working, you’ll see the beauty of this: it’s likely that even the anorexia, as destructive as it has undoubtedly been, was a subconscious effort at self-regulation and healing. Nothing has been wasted…
I talk to myself--would I have listened?
Dear Former Self,
At this point, you would rather die than have a weight in triple digits, and you say so sincerely. You can’t hear how melodramatic that sounds; in fact, from your standpoint at this time death is close enough to lose its melodrama. But at some level, admit it: you must realize that weight gain is on the cards. You’ve gained a couple pounds already because of this ghastly new thing binging and purging, even despite all the brutal fasting you’re doing the rest of the time, your other tricks aren’t working anymore, you know you’re out of control and need help, and, at bottom, you know that your chances of finding a practitioner who would help you lose weight from below 90lbs are approximately zero.
and we all lost you
When we met at Remuda Ranch summer 2012, the disease that brought us there revealed surprising commonalities despite our difference in age and accent--yours beautiful Minnesotan, persistent after years living in Ohio--and we bonded,
and the gratitude that makes movement possible
I used to think this only referred to "other people":
Prolonged/habitual dieting will inevitably lead to rebound hyperphagia (insatiable hunger) and accelerated weight gain, until a healthy weight is restored.
*See the bottom of this post for some sources
I really believed I was a special case. That was never going to be me. Even less me was the accompanying idea that this extra weight would cause the person to feel so much better that soon she wouldn't mind it.
Then, this past 18 months, it happened to me. "What's constant is the shift..." But how am I going to move through this shift?