Why Was I So “Out Of Control”? A Quick Look Back…

Now that I’m “all grown up” in my nutrition and cravings knowledge, I thought it’d be fun to look back at the journal entries I posted on this website and point out “what went wrong” during those binge/craving moments. Why did I feel so out of control? What was I missing?
A whole lot, some of you say. You shrug. “Raw food. Not enough nutrition.
Sure, to an extent. Raw food obviously provides a lot of great nutrition from all the wonderful raw fruits and veggies, but I was definitely missing out on a few important parts of the raw food diet because of my restrictive tendencies; I was still just too darn scared of calories (I shouldn’t eat too much fruit!) and my fear of fat prevailed (limit the nuts, seeds, and especially the oils!).

I believe the “binges” (was it really bingeing? My body was just desperate for calories and nutrients) were a mixture of emotional and physical aspects, but since I am a very nutrition-body-based researcher, I see much of this as a physical cry for the right food. Every time I thought I was “emotional-eating” in the journal entries I now realize I was just missing “this this and this.” Let me explain as we dive into the past yet again…
July 14: I had a delicious spinach and butternut squash salad with hummus for dinner, but still felt like I was tearing down the kitchen in search for food. (Really? I wonder why. A measly salad isn’t going to keep you full, especially with all the running you did…). So instead of bingeing like crazy again (I could feel it coming on) I tried to just stick with an avocado and ate it until satisfied. (Looks like you were starting to see what your body needed…)
I think I’m figuring out this bingeing problem. I don’t think I’m getting in enough fats (BINGO!) so my body tries to look for anything at night and I finally fill up when I just eat the fat! (And why didn’t you keep this in mind for later?) […]
I’ve been eating oatmeal lately. I don’t know why it’s been calling to me so much, but I’ve been giving in (Need…more…carbs…). I ate so much bread (CARBS) the other night […]
I looked up the nutritional profile of oatmeal and saw that it is rich in manganese, iron, magnesium, and phosphorus. Maybe I’m lacking some of those minerals? (Or did you just need carbs? Your body was hungry)
July 29: But by the time I got on the plane I was famished because I didn’t have much fruit all morning. When I arrived at the Denver, Colorado airport I quickly grabbed four bananas from a food station and scarfed those down which helped immensely—for the time being.
6 hours later…
Connie got me some raw grawnola. I tried not to eat it because I knew it would be very fatty and bother me on the run I’d be doing that night, but the moment I got back to my room I was famished. I couldn’t get to the food fast enough (body desperate for calories, anyone?), and I was relieved to have brought some of my own food. I ended up eating all of the grawnola (a small bag full), two pears and three raw food bars. I felt guilty about the raw food bars but I didn’t care in the moment because I was so hungry (body in binge mode–get it all in, and fast!). I scarfed everything down viciously like it was the last time I would ever eat. And finally, finally I felt satisfied—well, more like stuffed.
August 8: Today I’m trying to just eat a little. I feel like I have to do that for myself. I have to set up a plan, though:
Breakfast: 1/2 melon
Lunch: vegetables of any kind, little to no fat
Dinner: ??? Vegetables?
I just want to keep everything light and fresh. We’ll see how this goes…
Yeah this didn’t work at all.
Hmm, I wonder why. No fat + no carbs + only vegetables = FAMISHED!
August 29: My next obstacle are the larabars. They are much healthier and pretty “raw,” but they still have a lot of calories and they are addicting for me. I need to limit how many I eat. (My body was desperate for more calories and it knew these bars were loaded with both fats and carbs–the macronutrients I tried to get my body away from. I honestly thought I could train myself to just eat vegetables for the most part to keep my calories low and feel full).
September 5: That night my friends made pear pie. I didn’t really want it but I didn’t care. I ate second and third helpings of it, and ate even more of it this morning. I ate three more Larabars and bananas in secrecy. My friends whipped up pancakes and I couldn’t resist any longer. I didn’t even care that they didn’t sound good; I would force them in my body, make myself eat them because I wouldn’t allow myself to have them in the past. (Now THIS was emotional eating. I know this because I had restricted these “forbidden” foods for so long and at this point I figured what the hell, force them in even if you’re not hungry because then you can finally taste these lovely foods again before you have to restrict. You’re drowning in your own misery, anyway).
September 12: I felt famished while I worked out on the elliptical. Not empty-stomach famished, but famished in the way that I needed something now. The craving was unbearable (No wonder; I tried to go too long without sufficient fat and carbs). I couldn’t stop thinking about tomato sauce (a combo of carbs and fat). I got into the cafeteria and loaded a plate with steamed vegetables, salad, and poured tomato sauce on top of that along with a small amount of pasta salad and this lasagna stuff with cheese. I also added eggs because that sounded good (fat and protein!). I added more raw vegetables to get more healthy things in there, but honestly all that truly tasted good were the cooked foods, especially the cheese, pasta, and tomato sauce (Fat and carbs). I felt like I was wolfing everything down, I felt so hungry for it. I tried to eat more steamed vegetables and raw broccoli with the soup, but it just didn’t feel right to me. I have no idea what it was that lead me to be so adamant about the other food. I feel like I can’t say I “needed” the nutrients in the cooked food–because white, refined pasta really doesn’t have any (But it’s a quick source of carbs and your body was desperate). The cheese might’ve been okay. Maybe I just haven’t had enough fat or something? (It’s still taking you this long to get it in your head?) As bad as this binge was I didn’t feel guilty about it afterward because it was so intense; I don’t think I would have made it through the evening without indulging like I did tonight (which shows just how strong the body can get when it needs to rebel and get what it needs–hence, the idea that “you need more discipline” or “willpower” is not a valid point to make).
September 13: Lunch: I ate my typical salad and then of course I craved the giant cupcakes sitting at the dessert area of the cafeteria (Must we go over this again? Still need more carbs and fat in the meal. A salad with just vegetables on it isn’t going to cut it). They looked so creamy and delicious and I eventually caved into one. […]
I chewed gum to help myself not eat for the rest of the night. I felt a little guilty about that though because I know gum still has calories and I ended up going through a pack and a half…gosh I sound like a smoker. (And of course, the gum would only make me crave MORE sugar because of the artificial sweetener in it…so of course the cupcakes I found later were antagonizing and I finally gave in).
So there you have it. After all the years of experimenting with food, I feel like I finally know what goes on with my body now and why, which helps me to feel less in a “panic” when I do happen to crave certain foods. I think, what macronutrient is that high in?
Maybe if I would have tried the raw food diet “one more time” knowing these things, it might have turned out differently. However, high protein sources are much more satiating…and chewing through pounds of raw leafy greens and a few handfuls of nuts throughout the day isn’t quite what I want to do to get in my protein when it’s now as easy as opening a can of tuna or eating some meat. Believe me when I say I am very happy where I am now and don’t plan on changing much.
Like I said, everyone is different, but this is what works for me. What are your thoughts and experiences?

About Rachael

Rachael Steil is a graduate from Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, Michigan with a Bachelor of Arts. Steil an author, speaker, and a recipient of the Spirit and Outstanding Runner award for the Aquinas College cross country team and has received 6th place All-American accolades in cross country as well as 7th place in the NAIA track nationals.

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2 Responses to Why Was I So “Out Of Control”? A Quick Look Back…

  1. Nic says:

    I have a similar (but not as long) story. I was all into 30BAD. I ate so much fruit and so many dates- but I was never satisfied. I has the “what the hell, why not?” Mentality when eating so much. I had tons of carbs and sugar in the form of fruit and potatoes but I didn’t have enough protein and fat. Now, as a 60/20/20 (protein and fat at 20%) vegan eater, I’m so much better. I also realized my body does better with less fruit and more protein (tofu, beans, rice, etc). THis lifestyle may work for some people (30BAD), but it was awful for me. I will always be vegan, but not necessarily raw.

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