Snickers, they can be the best protein bars. 😉
That’s actually what I want to talk to you about today!
I keep hearing a lot of people talk about how they “should” be eating more whole foods in their recovery, or they haven’t yet incorporated processed foods into their recovery yet because they have this huge fear that if they do eat all the processed foods that they’re craving, that the processed foods is going to make them gain a lot more weight than they would if they just recovered on whole foods only, or high carb low fat vegan recovery, or just the whole foods only ED recovery method..
Or, you feel like in attempt to gain control over your recovery or trying to speed things up, you think that the continual eating of processed foods, of what your body’s craving, that, that’s contributing to your body holding onto weight. And so, if you start to eat more whole foods against your body’s will, not really what your body’s craving, then you start to compensate in that way, thinking that’s what your body needs, when it’s not asking for that.
Really, this holding on to whole foods only or the amounts at which you incorporate processed foods into your daily diet, is this last-ditch effort of the eating disorder trying to hold on for dear life. It’s trying to be like, okay, you’ve done all of this, but we can’t skimp on that in the name of health. But in the meantime, you’re prolonging your recovery and not getting your health back because you’re not giving into this part of the recovery process.
So, it’s this last part of control, fear of letting go of control and the fear of the unknown of what’s going to happen if I actually let go of this last piece? What’s going to happen? Whether it’s early on in your recovery or it’s later on in your recovery, and you’re just trying to speed things up and not being patient with your body. Your body’s going to hold on to weight anyways if you don’t give it up and let go, and step into that fear of the unknown, step into that fear of the doubt and just stop holding yourself back.
And, I know I’ve talked to you guys about this, that I too tried, and tried, and tried, and fought, and fought, and fought to maintain a whole foods only recovery. I got to a threshold where my body was like, dude, that’s not what I’m asking for. I’m not asking for the apple, I’m asking for the chocolate. Dude, I’m not asking for the smoothie. I’m asking for the pancakes. You know, like how we can do this. And we’re like, no, that’s really what I’m craving. But like if you’re really 100% honest with yourself, truly 100% honest with yourself, deep down, are you craving the Apple right now? Are you seriously craving the Apple right now?
Because if you’re coming from a passive restriction, it’s hard to believe that, that’s true. I know that I did crave a lot of fruit when I had restricted fruit at a certain point, like when I was doing fitness and stuff, I had to count my blueberries, but it got to a certain point where that’s not all I was craving. That’s not the threshold of my incorporating my processed foods and fear foods into my recovery. That was just a stepping stone. And then it was like, Oh, I want donuts and I want lots of chocolate and I want pastries and I want a lot of bread and I want pizza and I want burgers and I want to go out to get them. I don’t want to have to try to make the healthy alternative here at home, right? So I just want to talk about a couple of things.
And first of all, that is this thought that you’re going to gain a lot more weight if you eat processed foods versus if you did your recovery on whole foods only. And so what I typically see a lot aside from my recovery journey now working with people in their recovery, a lot of people may come to my channel and they may hear me talk about eating under [strict diddly 00:00:04:07] as much as your body’s asking for and specifically the processed foods. And a lot of people get pissed off at me and they’re like, “Oh no, that’s just not going to work for me.” And then they go on and they tried to do these other recovery routes such as high carb low fat recovery or whole foods only recovery and all these different other things like these, what I like to call a pseudo recoveries because it’s just restriction with a mask.
It’s like the Wolf in sheep’s clothing. It’s still restriction. And so then they come back a year later and they’re like, I tried to fight it and I tried to recover that way and I still feel in the same place, if not even worse. So they still have the digestive problems, they still have the extreme cravings, they still feel like they’re fighting their body. They still have extreme hunger. They still feel cold all the time. They still feel crazy around food. They still have constipation, all of the long lists of things and they just don’t feel free. It’s not what they envision their life to be when they think of freedom or recovery. So they come back and they’re like, “You pissed me off at first and I left, but now I’m back because I want recovery and I don’t feel recovered. Even trying to do these other recovery approaches.”
Typically they try to do those other ways because they think that eating this way, that’s somehow going to put on less weight in the long term. And these other recovery approaches, we’re not going to make them gain as much weight. So this fear of weight gain, that’s like the underlying thing to a lot of people, a lot of people’s issues is fear of weight gain. They don’t want to gain weight, but it’s what needs to happen in recovery. Some more than others and somebody wants to be at a different weight than others. But if you’re coming from a past of restriction and deprivation and you just can’t maintain it anymore, then you’re going to have to gain weight because that weight at where you’re at, where you’re trying to fight your body and you have to restrict yourself in some way to maintain that weight, that size of clothing, then that means it’s not healthy for you.
And so that means you’re going to need to gain weight permanently and get to your actual optimal set weight point. Let me get back on track here. So if you’re thinking that by adding in those process foods that you’re truly craving deep down, that you still have not been allowing yourself to get, what I see is you just, you don’t gain more weight if you eat processed foods in your recovery versus trying to do whole foods only recovery. What I see is that the people who tried to do whole foods only, only fight their body. They’re not giving into what their body’s really asking for. And so this is just another form of restriction and your body knows that and your body is asking for something and you’re giving it something else that you think is better for it. That like you know better than your body because that’s what we’ve been taught.
And so your body still thinks, Oh I’m in a famine. Oh I’m being deprived. Oh I don’t feel safe. We’re not in a safe environment yet. In the meantime, while you’re approaching your whole foods only recovery, your body’s going to hold onto weight as a conservation mechanism like we’ve talked about. And it’s going to continue to hold onto weight because it still doesn’t feel like it’s safe. And the more that your extreme hunger is going to get towards those processed or off limit foods that you still deem as bad and it’s going to get more and more extreme and the cravings are going to become more and more stronger and your health might stay the same or get worse. So in the meantime, your body is holding onto weight because it doesn’t feel safe and it’s not getting what it wants. It’s not getting what it’s asking for.
You’re not listening to your body, you’re not trusting your body. So what typically happens too is you end up like thinking like, Oh, initially you have the initial craving, Oh I want a brownie then you think, Oh no that’s bad, that’s processed, I should go have the protein bar. And so you have the protein bar and you’re still thinking about the brownie and you’re still eating the protein bar and you’re like, Oh the brownie though. And then so you finished the protein bar and you’re still hungry and still thinking about the brownies. And then you go and have an apple and you think during the apple, okay, this is going to curb this craving. And then you have a glass of water and then you go distract yourself and take a walk or take a shower or call a friend and then you’re still thinking about the fricking brownies.
And then what typically happens is you end up eating the brownies. So you’ve had all of these whole foods and the brownies. So you might as well have just like had the brownies and your body would have been satisfied quicker if you just had the brownies, right? So you had even more calories and more filling of the stomach that your body didn’t even want because there was something in the brownies that your body wanted and it knew that was in the brownies because it’s intelligent and has memories of certain foods and what they entail and what they encompass and what they’re going to do for your body. And so you end up eating even more typically than if you were to have just had what you were craving initially the foods that you were initially craving and then having enough of it. So not just being like, okay, okay body, this bargaining thing.
Okay I’ll have the brownie. So you have a brownie and then you drink some water and you walk away and you try to do all these things, but your body is like, no, I wanted the whole plate of brownies. I’ve been starved. You’ve starved me and now you’re still not giving me what I want and claiming that this is recovery. You see your body feels not safe. It starts to hold onto more weight, lowers the metabolism because it doesn’t feel safe, not enough of the nutrients is coming in. And this way you end up holding onto even more weight than you would have if you just would have from the start incorporated the foods that you were truly craving. Or maybe what happens is, the more that time goes on, the more you crave different foods and more processed foods, the more that you break down these barriers and challenge yourself, then your body’s like, Oh, okay, like we’re not in a famine anymore. Now I can ask for all these foods that we haven’t gotten in so long and that it needs.
And this is compared to the person who let’s go trust the body and typically this happens when the person like tries all these other things and they’re just so fed up. They’re so done, they’re exhausted of fighting their body and fighting food. They just can’t do it anymore. So this is the only route. This is the only route left. They’ve tried it all. They’ve tried every other way and this is it. So they give in and they let go and they surrender to their body and then, they let it happen. Or there’s the people that just do it from the start because they’re like, you know what? Like this is it. Like I am just committed from the start. And so they eat the processed foods, they eat it consistently, and they eat them enough and they’re not compensating at all.
And they may feel guilt and shame for this decision, but it’s exactly what their body was asking for. And their body senses that like, okay, I’m being fed, I’m being listened to. I’m being trusted. I’m being honored. Finally, after so many years of being deprived and neglected, here it is. And it starts to trust slowly. The more that you have those processed foods, and yes you put on weight quick, but the quicker the weight gain, the quicker the recovery. Typically, the thing that prolongs their recovery is us getting in our own way. Us getting in the body’s way. We’re trying to fight it. We’re trying to hold on, trying to hold on to some form of control in our recovery, trying to compensate in one way or another. Having extreme amounts of mental anguish, mental guilt and mental shame, mentally fighting the process mentally not accepting and letting go and just surrendering.
And so all of that gets in the body’s way of just doing what it wants to do, doing what it’s designed to do after prolonged energy deficit, famine, time of deprivation. Both parties put on weight and they both put on the same weight. It’s not that the processed foods people put on even more weight, they may even actually put on less weight than this person because their body is sensing that they’re safe and they’re being fed exactly what it’s asking for and as much as it’s asking for, and so their recovery may be even shorter. Because the quicker that you gain the weight and rate weight restore to where your body wants to be, the quicker that you incorporate all of the foods that it’s asking for. The quicker the recovery is going to be. Now you don’t want to get stuck in that mindset of like, okay, I got to get this over with and I want it to be quicker and if I’m doing this and why is it like taking longer?
You don’t want to get in that mindset obviously, but I’m just here to say that from what I’ve seen that incorporating process foods eating and even if that means like all processed foods for some time in your recovery, then that’s okay and you’re okay and that’s what’s going to get you healed. I know contrary to popular belief, but we’ve all done what we’ve been told, right? And so if that was going to work for us, it would have a long time ago and it would have for the masses. But more and more we see people struggling and suffering from the diets and from the restrictions and from the suppression of our natural weight. And so to get a different result, we’re going to have to do something completely opposite, completely unheard of. And people are going to think you’re crazy. People think I’m nuts.
But then they go on and complain about how they hate their body and they wish they could eat what they are craving but they can’t because they’re guilty and [inaudible 00:00:14:20]. All the diet talk while I’m sitting back and just like, all you could do is just like go through this process and you’ll be free. But not everyone is ready to hear it so you can’t fight it. So just remember that in your recovery you’re doing something that’s not widely talked about nor really understood. You’re going completely against the grain. But to find that freedom that nobody seems to have around you, it requires doing something completely opposite completely different to achieve that freedom. And that’s the saying that got me through this when I started to say, this is unhealthy. How could I be doing this right now? How could I justify this right now?
And everyone around me telling me I was nuts and it wasn’t going to happen. I stuck with this thing that I’ve said before, and it is sometimes in order to find the answers that you’ve been desperately seeking is to go against everything that you’ve learned to be true. It takes going against all of that because you can’t do the same action to get a different result. That’s just insanity. So yes, this process feels really lonely and people around you are going to question what you’re doing and you’re going to question yourself because you’ve heard all of the statistics and the science and the this and that and this person and that person and this book and that book and this source telling you what health encompassed and where did it get you. And so you may have people around you saying like, “Oh, you’re going to eat that other piece?” Or “Oh, you don’t want to go from one extreme to another, do you?”
Or yes, yes but everything in moderation and yes, yes, I agree. You just have to find the balance, but that balance is just dysfunctional balance. It’s not real balance. It’s just forced balance. And so you start to question and you’re like, well, I should be eating more whole foods. This is nuts. In the meantime, you’re starting to feel more satisfied and feel more free and you’re starting to get in tuned with your body and your bowels are going and your period’s coming back and yes, you’re gaining weight, but it feels so right deep down. So overall I would suggest that you eat exactly the foods that you’re craving. All foods are neutral and not compensating with healthy alternatives because you think that you should, that’s not going to get you recovered. This will only feed and perpetuate the binge restrict cycle indefinitely. And your body is only going to be left feeling deprived more and more.
You may challenge some things here and there and feel a little bit more free, but you’re never going to be free if this is what you continue. The only way to get out is to eat unrestrictedly. And if you’re not eating exactly what you want, 100% like truly deep down what you’re really craving, then you’re not eating under strict diddly and then you won’t get recovered. So to find your balance with this all and intuitive eating or whatever, like it’ll all balance out, but it’ll be on its own. Like it’ll happen on its own. It won’t be forced from you. It won’t be by you consciously choosing the healthier alternative over the processed craving that you’re having. It’s not going to be a conscious effort. It’s going to be your body directing you and guiding you and your balance is going to look different and it’s probably not going to be a bunch of [inaudible 00:17:48] and green smoothies and all of that.
Yes, it’s not going to be your conscious effort. It’s going to be your body doing it. Your body will guide you through it on its own. It will whenever it’s ready, it happens. It just takes time and you’re not going to go from one extreme to the other. You’re not going to go from restrictive dieting and restrictive eating to binge eating disorder or emotionally eating. I’ve talked about that in other videos, so I’m not going to go into that right now, but that’s just not what’s going to happen for you. Like this is exactly what your body needs. This is exactly how the body responds to deprivation and long periods of restriction. Finding your balance and all of that. It won’t be something that you do earlier than it’s naturally supposed to happen and it’s not going to happen at a lower weight than where your body wants to be.
It’s not going to happen by eating in moderation when truly deep down you’re craving all of these sugary foods and you never get through that phase of eating sugary foods all day long. Those catch phrases that I listed earlier are just restriction in disguise. And I know it’s really, really hard to hear people around you saying that because I had to hear it too, and I still have to hear it like everyone around me. But what I also see with them is that they’re unhappy with their weight. They’re always talking about how they needed to lose weight. They’re always talking about how they shouldn’t be eating that or they’re just insecure and not satisfied. And they just are always talking about the new diet or exercise regime. But then they’re tired and fatigued and irritable and that’s like all they can talk about in their life.
So is that what you want? So if you think that there’s something wrong with you, there’s not, it’s 100% normal to be craving mostly processed foods. But then it’s like what kind of processed foods are you even talking about? Because for some people what processed foods is to one person is to another person completely different for processed foods. For some people they think that they’re like challenging this fear by eating some olive oil, you know? So it may come in stages too.
So if you find yourself questioning your eating habits, but you’re following what your body is asking, then follow that. Don’t follow the questioning and the doubts and the fears and all of that, question what feels right. And if you’re following your body, that’s the best guide because something external is never going to get you the answers that you’re seeking. It hasn’t worked before and it’s not going to work in the future. The only way is to listen to your body and then be patient with your body while it heals. Your body is the only thing that you have at the end of the day. So continuing to hurt it through restriction and deprivation is not something that you want to do. Just honor your body for once it knows what it’s doing.
No, you’re not going to gain more weight if you eat processed foods versus whole foods recovery. You’re probably going to gain even more weight trying to adhere to a whole foods only recovery when deep down you want more processed foods, that’s just what I see. We did so much better when we didn’t have like nutritionists and nutrition labels and Google …
Anyways, enough of that rant, probably going to piss some people off, but whatever, the truth hurts.
So if you want to get recovered, then you got to let go and step into this 100% not 80%. 80% commitment in your recovery will get you 80% recovered, 100% commitment in your recovery we’ll get you 100% recovered.
I hope this article has helped you in some way.
I hope that your new year is off to a great start, and I send all my love to you and wherever you’re at in your journey, and you’re doing awesome for continuing forth and believing.
So keep going. You won’t regret it.
xx Kayla Rose
If you want further support in your recovery journey, be sure to check out my online resources for that by clicking here!