Food Psych

I recently started listening to a podcast called Food Psych. I heard about it from someone on Twitter and decided to check it out. It’s about intuitive eating, breaking out of diet culture, eating disorder recovery and Healthy at Every Size.

I’ve listened to about 10 episodes so far. They are long, a little over an hour or so. Each episode starts with a Q&A and then the rest of the episode is an interview with someone new each week, depending on the topic.

I am finding it very informative and interesting.

I learned that bulimia isn’t always about throwing up after eating. It can also mean a binge and then a strict restriction period to “make up for” the binge. I did not know that.

I also learned about orthorexia.

It was interesting to hear this term and learn more about it. Reflecting on my time blogging and reading “Healthy Living Blogs” for almost a decade now, I can see clearly that that whole “thing” was probably orthorexia. Focusing on diet culture, weight loss, over-exercising, being rigid about workout schedules and only eating “healthy foods.” There was a blogger that put a carrot in a hot dog bun instead of eating a hot dog, and a bunch of other truly bizarre (and disordered) things.

I was definitely part of this culture. It makes me think long and hard about my own journey. The podcast talks about how 90% of people who lose weight cannot keep it off. I guess I fall into this category? I lost 110 pounds and kept it off for over 10 years. I think that is pretty commendable. But at the same time, I maintained my weight by strict workout schedules and very low calorie intake. I don’t know that I fall into the eating disorder category per se, but definitely the diet culture category.

Something that happened recently: Logan has been telling me repeatedly lately that he’s hungry. This is after a meal, he had plenty of food during the meal. Michael and I have questioned if he was hungry or bored. We offer “you can have applesauce or a banana or some carrots” and of course he says no. He wants the crackers or granola bar.

This has been very triggering to me. First, I remember being a kid and wanting a snack and my mom would offer fruit or vegetables only. I grew up in a very strict food house, in the 90’s when it was the all low-fat/non-fat/no-sugar craze. So we didn’t get “treats” which lead to me bingeing later.

So hearing my son tell me he’s hungry and he wants to have a sweet treat, is triggering. Michael and I have been very conscious about letting him be intuitive, not being strict with food. We don’t want him to grow up with body issues/food issues etc. I especially don’t want that because I know how it feels and what it leads to.

But here I am, Saturday afternoon when Logan has had some crackers and raisins as a snack (with watered down apple juice to drink) and he’s whining that he’s hungry and I feel MY food issues pop up and I am mixed: do I restrict him? Do I give in and potentially create not healthy eating habits?

Boys can have eating disorders, too. It’s not just girls, even if it USUALLY is girls. I don’t want Logan to grow up like I did. I don’t want him to have body shame, or become obese, etc. It’s a hard balance for me, especially since I am still trying to come to terms with my own food issues.

At one of Logan’s recent “well baby” check up appointments with his doctor, whom I REALLY liked, gave me pause. She weighed him and stuff and suggested we “monitor” his weight. I was flabbergasted. Logan has been in the 97% percentile for height his entire life. 95% sure he will be a very tall boy (my brother is 6’6) because there are a lot of tall men in both sides of the family. His weight was around the 50% percentile, as it has been his whole life as well. I didn’t question the doctor, partly because I was so surprised she even mentioned my toddler’s weight. But I left feeling like “WTF”. Logan is tall and skinny as a rail. His clothes in his size are always a little too big.

This was the first experience as a parent of “Body shaming” my kid. It stuck with me for months. And listening to Food Psych Podcast, I am hearing in these interviews of people who had their body and food issues start at a VERY young age. Like ME. I was 9 when I suddenly realized there was something “Wrong” with my body. (I was not fat in anyway, but I THOUGHT I was.)

I’m working through a lot of things right now, thinking about stuff. But I wanted to pass on the info about the podcast because I am really enjoying it and I think a lot of people will too.

Positive Thinking, Positive Change

I wanted to give an update about a post I wrote about medications and weight over the summer. Read that post for the background but the cliff notes version: I gained 10 pounds on a medication this summer.

I had a choice to make, try a different medication, or just keep going with prozac, which was working very well for my anxiety. I decided to give the buspar a chance per my doctor. I stopped the prozac and switched to the other one. Right off the bat, I was not a fan. It did absolutely nothing for my anxiety. I gave it over a month, waiting with white knuckles for it to finally kick in and start working…and nothing.

I was even having occasional panic attacks, which was not traditionally a component of my anxiety. So that was fun! I talked to my doctor and he increased the dosage. Within a few days of that, I started having really awful side effects. The biggest one was heart palpitations. Like constantly. It took me a few days to realize that the never ending heart palpitations might be because of the meds. I googled it and sure enough, “if you have this side effect, call your doctor immediately”. YAY! 🙁

So I stopped the buspar immediately and within a day or so the side effects were better and mostly gone. That’s the good news. The bad news? I was still in the same boat as I was before.

I went back on a low dose of the prozac and I am trying to manage my anxiety with mindfulness and a relaxation app I downloaded. The one I usually use is Breathe2RelaxI also use the Oak app. I like them and they work pretty well when I’m in the middle of an anxiety attack.

As for the weight I gained this summer…I am making good choices to lose it.

  1. No candy/dessert (which has been very hard with all the Halloween candy that’s EVERYWHERE!) but I am doing well with that so far.
  2. No alcohol Monday-Thursday and on Friday/Saturday nights I can have 1 drink (instead of my usual 2).
  3. Reminding myself it’s ok to be hungry sometimes.
  4. Taking the stairs at work. I go up and down between several floors multiple times a day and I’ve started using the stairs instead. It’s the little things that add up.
  5. I’m still working out my normal 5 days a week with 2 rest days.
  6. I’m counting my calories still but I am trying to actually create a deficit instead of eating back all of the calories in the gym.
  7. Weighing myself once a week. When I was in maintenance mode I was weighing once a month, or even less. If my clothes got tight, then I’d weigh myself, but I basically stuck at the same place.

The first week I lost almost 2 pounds. The second week I lost another pound. Over that weekend I wasn’t feeling 100% so I skipped drinking for the most part. I also didn’t have much of an appetite, so I think that helped jump start things.

As far as the mental aspect, I am doing well. My anxiety is “ok” and I’m feeling super focused on losing the weight. I am finding it easier to resist treats and things that are my downfall, so I think my mind is IN THE GAME on this.

Then Thanksgiving weekend hit–pie, wine, carbs…you know the drill. I didn’t weigh myself for 2 weeks and finally got back on the scale. This weekend I weighed myself after taking a few weeks off from the scale and was happy to see a few more pounds gone! I am now down a total of 7 pounds since October! WOOHOO!

I will keep you posted on my progress.