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Why are you afraid to let calorie counting go?

Aahh calorie counting. I hate it that consumers have access to this :,). Not because I don’t want them to know. It’s good to gain more knowledge as a person with a goal. Makes the opportunity of succeeding higher. But it comes with a price. Let’s say a mental health price. For my own practice, two months tops of Myfitnesspal is enough!! Not a day more and even less is something I advocate. Get some insight in how much rice weighs per portion, how much oil is a good idea and call it a quits!

I work as a coach at a company and clients that mostly come to me either hate calorie counting, don’t do it completely or got a totally fucked up relationship with food eventually. This last thing is something that a lot of people really do not take seriously when they download Myfitnesspal in the beginning. If you feel anxious, because you can’t eat a meal you cannot track. You have a problem!

If you feel anxious, because the battery of your foodscale broke down. You have a problem. As a person who has been there, I am not afraid to say this. And the amount of suffering it gave, is something I would never like to have for others. People trust the food scale more than themselves !?€@#%!?? It is such a hard habit to get out of your system! So better do it now. You are not a bikinifitness model, you are not on prep and you won’t gain all the weight back!!!!

Especially this last one. This is the whole reason why people can’t stop. “Oohh I found a formula to keep myself forever this way”! Well, I can tell you this. It will not be forever. Maybe you have been struggling for years and years with your weight, but this is not the awnser. It’s a tool for insight in calories. Myfitnesspal is just like a diet. It will work for some time, but will lose it charms in the end. Cuz when you stop following it, depending how you react to it, you could gain some weight back. It’s the lie that everyone tells themselves. That calorie counting is not a diet, well guess what, it is!

So if you stop today, maybe stay the same in weight or gain 2-4 pounds (1-2 kilo). Your real lifestyle change can begin. People who use calorie counting often can calorie count when by themselves. But when getting a partner, being with friends or with your own damn kids later on. The craziness of it, will show. Getting to listen to your body, cravings, making healthy choices and sometimes nibble on something less nutritious and staying in balance. Is the key! You already can do that without that app, millions of people show that everyday. And guess what, your weight will always go up and down (2/4 pounds, 1-2kilo) and that is healthy. People think the scale either needs to go down or stay at the same number for all the weeks of the year……

Start with putting the food scale away. Than only use the app for a while. Challenge yourself to eyeball foods and drinks more. Become more easy with tracking (not specific with macro’s). And let it go. To be honest. This has been a thing for me for so long that I actually really am considering to not even start as a dietitian, because this bugs the shit out of me. It really takes away the joy of my work personally. Because I know that at the end, that people who are using this now are gonna give the biggest tantrums on not letting go. While I never even recommended it, but they start looking for information at the wrong sources or twist your advice…

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Why cheatdays turn into cheatweeks

Dear readers,

‘12.000 calories cheatday’, ‘ 15.000 cheatday ‘, ‘I ate a dozen donuts from Dunkin’ or ‘I ate everything I craved for a day’. For people who do this as a job on YouTube, well okey they make their bucks with this. If it’s a healthy relationship with food….Well it depends how they deal with it the days after and before the cheat-days. How much calories do they eat to compensate this and how much exercise do they do to compensate it. And maybe most important; do they enjoy what they do and can they keep it up or are they crumbling behind the scenes. Eating until your stomach feels painful is not the way to go in my opinion. Keeping track of your calories the days after, because you want them to be as low as possible to stay the same weight is not the way to go in my opinion.

Eating EVERYTHING you want for a day in high quantities is not the way to go in my opinion. Why? Because you are going too extremes and we do not live in a time that extremes are necessary. We don’t live with a shortage of food (at least I am guessing the persons who reads this, if not, my apologies). We don’t need to eat everything we got and as much as possible, because you do not know when your next meal will be.

Often the titles I have written here above and the behavior that comes with are from RESTRICTION. Nobody want’s to hear ‘no you can’t have that’ and it’s even more difficult if it comes from yourself. At some point you will maybe say ‘I just can have a bite’ or ‘ I have been good for the whole week, so Friday is my cheatday’.

There are some people who can handle cheatdays and have a cheatmeal or the same amount of calories they normally have over the day, but choose not so healthy products. But a lot of people have black or white thoughts, making them go crazy when the product that they want so bad is finally there to eat.

After thousands of calories and not having any structure anymore in your eating (happens often). A lot of people deal with an after-blow for 2 days or so after. So maybe it’s not a week, but it definitely  makes an impact

So why do you get a cheatweek or some cheatdays?

  • Restriction. Not eating when you want, how you want and how much you want.
  • Black and white thoughts. An apple is healthy, but eating a donut that taste like apples is a ‘shitty choice’, but my taste buds still want it (you feel torn in two thoughts).

How can you fix it?

  • By eating what you want, how much you want and how you want it.
  • Skip the black and white thoughts. It’s hard, but using less/no restriction can help that process. Food is not only fuel, it also has a mental aspect and taste aspect. You should try to feed that as well in healthy portions. For example take one donut a day as a snack, because it taste good and it reminds you of your youth. Not 12 on one day.

*One thing these cheatday binges are often not necessary for the body of healthy people. If you are underweight, have a low bodyfat or have an eating disorder these ‘binges’ might be very useful and your body is trying to tell you something. Go to your GP for help.

Hope this helps,

Queeny

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If you think therapy will have all the answers…

Hello readers,

Therapy is something a lot of people with an eating disorder either fear, look up to or do not take serious at all. For all of those people this article could be helpful. I have some sentences that I will put into this article from a lady I spoke to on Instagram. That went crazy quick and I am thankful that people read these!

What’s in it for you?

Depending on how you look at it. It either is very helpful or not at all. ‘When I first went to therapy, they (GP and dietitian) told me that talking about it would help and speed up the proces’. Therapy and talking about your thoughts should help and  yes it’s very nerve wrecking to talk about all the dark thoughts going on in your head, but you will feel relieved. It does depends how you ‘walk into therapy’. A lot of women and men with an eating disorder are often dishonest about either their foodintake or on how hard they work on the assignments they get from the therapist.

And I get that. There is so much going on and you know deep down it’s not oke what you are doing to yourself. The funny thing is, saying it out loud is actually the first steps to recovery. The shame you feel from talking about it is recovery. Having insight in these thoughts is recovery.

I always thought and I still believe; that working without judgement with a person suffering from an eating disorder is key. But sometimes it helps to be a bit judgy, because some people do get insight that the behavior is not something you should be proud of or is even harmful.

Your mindset stepping into therapy.

Wauw! The amount of people who walk into therapy not taking it serious or the amount of people who thinks it’s gonna ‘cure’ them is so big. And you know what, both are wrong. I highly advice you to go there with an open mind and blank thoughts.

Does this person really have the answers?

Well no, not one single helper in your journey will have all the answers. They do however have tips & tricks and I highly advice you to listen to them and use them in everyday life. How sooner you say yes to recovery, how sooner this will ends.

Much love,

Queeny

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Why body positivity isn’t always that positive….

Hello readers,

I find it kinda scary to write this. Because such a helpful mindset is going to get some bashing. First is first. Being happy with your body is a good thing and always will be. It’s important to have positive feelings towards your body*.

What I see with a lot of people including myself

I put a little star behind the last sentence, because exactly that shows a problem in my eyes. A lot of people are not connected with their body. It’s like they have their mind and thoughts and the second part is their body. So they are not working with each other, but against each other. For example: ‘I wan’t to be a size (blank) and this stupid body is just heavy and holding me back’.  I had the same, but not size wise. I did everything to get my period back and still I did not get it back. It took 4 years!

Looking back now, I know why. I did everything physically to get it back, but not mentically. It takes these two, to get yourself healthy. And that’s why I find body positivity so good. It learns you to connect the two.

Always being happy with your body…

I think being happy with your body all the time is very unrealistic. For example. Let’s take a pregnant woman. She is happy and proud that she could carry her baby for 9 months. The moment she gave birth and all the months after that are a roller-coaster! She maybe lose hair, have frequent bleedings and maybe she is not that happy with her body doing that. And guess what that’s okey. It could also be with you fitting pants in shop and thinking ‘Aahh why are these pants not looking well on me’. You can have these moments, acknowledge them and move on. Don’t stick with them. I feel that people who want to become body positive, think there’s this rule that you should always be positive. Like ‘unwritten rules’ they make for themselves. This is not your new addiction or coping mechanism. It’s taking the time to get to know yourself, find the positives and hold on to them.

Feeling pressure from the outside world

I am going to give you an example again, but maybe it’s not really the case for you at the moment. What if you had an health influencer. She is totally body positive. Her whole page is about it. This lady is a bit on the heavier side, but for now is healthy. Then there’s a day she heard from her doctor she needs to lose some weight for her blood pressure and eat a bit more healthier. She does, but her followers do not understand. ‘why are you losing weight? I thought you were happy with your body’. It could be the other way around as well. Maybe you have a page as a fitness influencer and you are ripped, but it’s tempering your health. So you need to gain some weight and lose the abs for a while. Choosing to gain weight is the healthy choice at the moment.

They feel pressure from the outside world to look a certain way and be positive about it all the time…

Always choose you and what is best for you. That is being body positive. Having the connection with your body and understanding what it wants. That ‘pressure’ you feel is an assumption you make of people thoughts. And there will always be a group who will try to bring you down, but the group that supports you is always stronger <3

I find it so sad that if people feel that pressure, but understand that you are the most important person in your life.

Certain rules 

Then there is this group of people who make certain rules. about body positivity. You will be only body positive if you do xxx things. Maybe it’s using lotion for your body everyday or working out everyday. Or worse, only yoga is treating your body well… (yickes!).

There are no rules…Period..

If you do something and your body and mind gain strength, happiness or health from it. Go for it!

Much love,

Queeny

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How to handle fearfoods?

Hello readers,

Let’s start out with one thing. Everyone in the ED community has one or more fearfoods. I WILL NOT name a certain food here as a fearfood, because I know people will somehow connect dots and think that food would be bad and somehow will be going to avoid that. So how can you work towards eating a fearfood?

Identify the feelings

I think a lot of foods get the name ‘fearfood’, because it causes a certain reaction. So I am going to take you in this process.

Food item > emotions > reaction 

The food item could be anything. The emotion that comes afterwards could be fear, anxiety, disappointed, disgust or more. The reaction could be; purging, way to much exercise, crying, binge eating etc.

Recognize yourself? Good, then you have some insight in the situation. So try to write down your emotions when you eat a food item. Try it in the same sequence as above. I ate product x > this gave me anxiety > after that I started a compulsive workout.

It may gives some insight in your behavior. I mean your dad, sis or best friend are not having this sequence so why should you?

Turn that list around

I somehow guess you have a list in your head, or in your room, or on your phone with foods that are an absolute no no. Well guess what! We are going to make that a yes yes. If you can put all the time in making a list with foods you cannot eat, well let’s use it for more activities. Like trying the foods :p.

If you do not want to be stuck in the shitty situation you brought yourself in, challenge yourself! Be brave and fight your ED. I can tell you now, it won’t be easy everyday, but it will get better. The only way you get rid of an ED is by doing exactly the opposite from your ED thoughts!

So try at least 5 days (preferable 7 days) in a week a product that you find troublesome. So it can look like the following:

I ate product x > this gave me anxiety > after that I started a compulsive workout > I am going to eat this product on Monday at breakfast.

Keep this in mind, because we are taking it to the next subject.

Use the 0-10 scale

This scale is often use by dietitians. ‘How do you feel on a scale of 0-10? Ohhh its a 5? Why not a 6?’ We will be using this a different kind of way. So let’s take the part we made in the last sub-chapter.

I ate product xx > this gave me anxiety> after that I started a compulsive workout > I am going to eat this product on Monday at breakfast > On a scale of 0-10, I will give my anxiety a 8.

Do this a week later and review your anxiety.

I ate product x > this gave me anxiety > after that I started a compulsive workout > I am going to eat this product on Monday at breakfast > On a scale of 0-10, I will give my anxiety a 6.8.

Keep track of your progress! It’s easy to get lost in the thought there is no progression, but if you have it on paper, your mind can’t argue with that!

Eat and repeat!

I said it before and will say it again. If you can repeat your bad habits everyday, why can’t you repeat the nurturing habits of giving yourself enough food, love, sleep and less stress? I know you can and so do you. You are going to beat your ED by eating a bite more, having dessert after dinner, eating that fearfood and enjoying what you eat.

Best of luck,

Queeny

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How to survive the lock-down when having an eating disorder?

Hello readers,

When having an eating disorder and depending in which state it is, it can be that you feel a bit disconnected from the whole corona situation. You don’t want to stay inside, but you want to move. Either in the gym or the park. When having binges or bulimia, you are maybe questioning if you financially can handle another binge episode and if it’s the right choice to go to the supermarket this time. Maybe even your pessimistic side of wishing yourself dead just came a little bit too near this time…

Having an eating disorder is already a form of lock-down if you ask me. By restricting yourself from social events and certain foods it’s already a big punishment to give yourself. So how do you cope with that dreadful anxiety you feel at the moment?

Keep prepping your meals / or follow your meal plan

If you have a structured routine of prepping your meal for the days or are following a plan from a dietitian, please stick to this! Remember your goal(s). Why did you choose for recovery? And stay realistic; your body still needs food every single day… period.

Do not go into your room and sneaky workout!

I am afraid a lot you all are already do this…  (-_-) Don’t lie to the people who love you and don’t feed into the anxiety you feel. If you want to move, I highly recommend that you move with somebody and make it a 30-45 min workout inside. Don’t go on for hours and hours!

Seek online help!

Depending in which country you are, you can chat online with fellow strugglers. In the Netherlands we have Proud2bme.nl. An online platform were they have a forum or an online chat (from 19:00-21:00) daily. You are not alone, how cliché it may sound.

Keep busy or sit down and listen.

For bingers or people who have bulimia tendencies, it can be very hard to fight the urges. You often get the advice to keep yourself distracted. In this case you can watch a movie at home, read a book, talk to someone (by phone or face-to-face). But sometimes if you want to fight the ED, you can stop and just listen to the chatter from your brain. Sometimes you just gotta sit down hear the bullsh*t your ED is telling you.

Keep setting goals for recovery 

Even in lock-down, you can always keep setting goals for recovery. Try some peanut butter on bread, eat your favorite candy or try to eat with your family.

Ask help with the pantry

If you want to binge badly, ask someone at home to put a lock on the pantry or ask the person to go with you when you are taking something from it.

I hope this helped! I never really wrote about this in the past, but I believe writing about this is vital. Even when it helps just one person <3

Greetings,

Queeny