Sep 10, 2010

Sober Eating

Since I've cut out refined grains and refined sugars for the last 10 days, I've been feeling pretty amazing physically. I haven't had any strong cravings, no physical urges to binge and have been getting more an more sensitive to the subtle tastes of food -sweetness of carrots has increased, the complexity of flavors seems more obvious to me. Eating this way has been a pleasure, an adventure and mostly, as cheesy as it sounds, a gift to myself and my health.

I was talking to my crazy lady about how good it feels to eat well, how easy it seems this time around. I also mentioned how I've been more moody than normal. She thought maybe this is a direct reaction to not having binges and binge trigger foods to mask some of the emotions I would normally need to feel and deal with directly. She also thought that it might seem easy because I've drawn a line in the sand with the refined foods. That for me, this might be my version of "sober eating". That I might need to continue to do this to allow my body to adjust to feeling good and using food for fuel and nourishment as opposed to using it mostly as a drug.

The concept of sober eating was new to me, but as soon as she used that term, I completely understood what she meant. It seemed such a fitting term for how I should aim to eat and what I need to do as part of my recovery from this eating disorder. I had never thought of myself as seeking out sobriety. I don't have an issue with drugs or alcohol, which I usually equate with the concept of sobriety. But I do have an addictive issue with food and bingeing, and have been using something similar to addiction counseling to deal with my food issues. So this idea of sobriety and sober eating really put a new frame of thinking for me.

And how amazing that I've been not only free from binges for two weeks now, but free from even the URGE to binge?? When I've been eating clean (i.e., "sober"), it hasn't been a struggle at all and I haven't had to make any decisions about bingeing or just hasn't come up. Yes, I've been a bit moody, a bit sensitive, a bit sad. But I haven't been any of those things enough to drive me into a binge. Or to pull down my strength enough to make me consider a binge. I've just felt like I'm getting stronger, getting closer to the way I want to live my life. The way I WILL live my life. I'm doing it now. I would have never been able to do this even a year ago.... After 3 days max eating like this, I would have turned it into a control issue and binged privately and grandly.

I don't think I will continue on forever without another urge to binge. Life gets tough, I have my fallbacks and my coping mechanisms that aren't always the best. But for now, since I've found something that seems to be working, I'm going to give it a try for the long haul.

My goal is to do an 85-15 eating plan. What I mean by this is that 85% of the food I eat will be sober foods - no refined grains, no refined sweeteners, as few unprocessed foods as possible. Just real food. There's no reason I can't do this when I'm shopping and cooking for myself. The 15% comes in when visiting friends and family, out to dinner, away from home.

I'm going to think more about this idea of sober eating and clean living as it relates to the bingeing and the way my body feels. So far, I think I might be onto something.


  1. This concept makes sense to me and sounds really intriguing. I know I should reeeeeally consider eating "cleaner," but I absolutely don't WANT to. I guess I'm not ready yet? I don't know. Part of me feels guilty that I'm not taking my overall health more seriously, but part of me refuses to give up even more, if that makes sense?

    So glad it's working for you, though! No binges is so awesome. :)

  2. Chibi - I know exactly what you mean about giving more up.... And I didn't really feel like I was giving anything up when I started this. And each day that's gone by, I'm more noticing how much I'm actually giving to me. So I think I was just ready for this.

    I think we all do what we can when we're ready. As long as we keep moving forward, that's all we can ask of ourselves.