Is Your Paleo Challenge Justifying Disordered Eating

Disclaimer: this is a reflection on me and my personal experience with how challenges have impacted my Paleo journey and my personal history of disordered eating.  This post is not to imply that Paleo challenges create disordered eating, or that they may not have a place in others’ journeys, but simply a reflection on how challenges could be impacting others who have a history similar to my own. ♥

Paleo Challenges, Disordered Eating Post by Paleo Parents

Yesterday was the last day of the Real Life Paleo book tour, and some of the frequently asked questions are atop my mind. On the tour, as a means to describe why we wrote a book that focuses on phasing into a Paleo lifestyle, I have a line I always deliver that gets a lot of nods (and laughs) from the audience. I think it’s important we open this dialog about how we are all reacting to, behaving with, and thinking about our food choices.

First of all, you can’t just tell your 6 year-old they’re going on a Whole30 and expect them to be thrilled about the opportunity to give up nearly all the foods they’ve become accustomed to eating. But more than that, we hear through the blog, from a myriad of different types of people, that they begin with – and love – a Paleo challenge. Then the day after it ends they fall face first into a pizza buffet. Weeks later when they’re at the gluten-free bakery for the 3rd time that week, they think to themselves, “I need to do another Paleo challenge.” And so the cycle goes, much like a typical yo-yo dieters roller coaster.

After years following Paleo ourselves and talking with so many of you, that’s why we wrote Real Life Paleo. It is the answer to that negative cycle, an approachable, sustainable plan that can set people up for a lifetime of improved health and wellness.

Some Background

It was 2010 when I happened upon the word “Paleo” in a Google search for “dairy-free ice cream.” As a crunchy-granola, cloth-diapering, breastfeeding mom I was giving up dairy for the 3rd time in 5 years because I had finally learned that my own lactose intolerance was being passed through my breastmilk to my newborn baby. It took 3 babies, but I finally wised up to the fact that food was the cause of my first two children’s discomfort and that with the 3rd I wanted to avoid colic, acid reflux and diaper rash all together.

Perhaps it was because I was in the right state of mind, perhaps it was the hormones, perhaps it was because I knew what Paleolithic meant, and enjoyed my Anthropology course in college; but no matter what the reason, I decided I wanted to find out what the heck this strange word meant.

Of course today it’s hard to imagine the word being so foreign, given its popularity (top dietary searches for both 2013 and 2014, surpassing vegan and vegetarianism for the first time evah). But, at the time, I was a morbidly obese woman who’d had a physically demanding and difficult pregnancy. I was exhausted, unhealthy, and desperate for enough energy to sit at the dinner table for a family meal after a day of sitting at a desk in the office, instead of plopping onto a piece of soft furniture the minute I got home. I wanted, more than anything, to play with my children in the yard. I remember watching the boys search for eggs during an Easter egg hunt and wishing I was healthy enough to follow after them and watch it happen, instead of watching from a chair on the deck.

After a lifetime of starvation diets, such as Weight Watchers, paired with disordered eating of bulimia as a teen, followed by continued binging without the purging into my adult years, reading The Paleo Diet blew my mind. All of the symptoms and health conditions I had could all be attributed to the described “Syndrome X” or “metabolic derangement”, neither of which were terms I’d ever heard before. Hours into reading I was shouting from the sofa, where I was nursing our days-old newborn, “YOU HAVE GOT TO READ THIS, I WANT TO DO IT!”

I wanted it. I made it happen.

And within weeks I had manifested the change I’d wanted to see in myself. No gimmicks, no challenges, no perfection, nothing like what Paleo has today – because those things didn’t exist back then. It was simply me, my desire, my willpower, and my ability to execute my dream.

I Made it Happen, Disordered Eating by Paleo Parents

The more my health improved, the more my desire to continue grew. Most people have heard the story by now, that as my severe sleep apnea and heart burn disappeared, as my energy skyrocketed, as my usual post-partum depression never came, and as I was constantly saying how great I felt – we decided the entire family could stand to join me. It was a bit harder to explain to my 5 year old, so we introduced a gradual change for the family. We started making paleo-friendly replacements of food they were used to and put more vegetables on the dinner table instead of pasta, bread, and rice.

And like my own health improvements, the boys all had remarkable changes. My oldest no longer needed a daily-inhaler, which was huge for him to be able to play on the playground without getting sick. My middle boy had a skin condition resolve itself that had bothered him for nearly 18 months (and a doctor had said he needed steroids for). Both boys had behavioral improvements that to this day we are still able to directly link to the foods they consume. And that newborn… never got colic, acid reflux, or nasty painful stools like the other boys. Of course, the 200lbs Matt and I lost was also great motivation.

How It Becomes Disordered

What none of us did for this fantastic success story we’ve now shared hundreds of times within the community was to go on a “Paleo challenge”. I know for a lot of people challenges are their way into the Paleo world, and I think that’s legitimately fantastic. Many people find Paleo because a friend asks them to do a Whole30, or their daughter says “Let’s do a 21 Day Sugar Detox together”, or their CrossFit box hosts a LuRong or Whole Life Challenge. I get it. Over the last nearly five years on this Paleo journey I’ve done them all, most multiple times. But it wasn’t until after I was well into my Paleo journey that these programs came into existence, and once I heard about them, I began doing them nearly non-stop.

You know why I’ve done them all? Because to me, I was using it as yet another mechanism for disordered eating.

For a binge-eater, an emotional-eater, an orthorexic, or any disordered eater there’s an easy bridge and justification that can be made for the fact that when you’re on a challenge you will eat that way for the challenge. It’s easier, you have rules that you yourself have agreed to. So you follow the rules, until it’s over. And then you make all the treats you pinned on Pinterest over those 21 days the first week off of the Challenge, because you can. Perhaps you even justify to yourself that you were so good on your Challenge and it’s a reward and totally fine. Or worse, maybe you’re plagued with guilt because you made a mistake which leads to an emotional eating bender. Weeks later you realize you’re eating your 4th gluten-free sandwich of the week with those amazing cookies you made a triple batch of, and you say to yourself, “I really need to do another detox, I’ll start one at the beginning of next month.” And then you “make the most” of the time leading up to the Challenge by taking advantage of eating things you can’t during it.

And then you’re Paleo for 21 or 30 days again, before you fall off the wagon and start the cycle over again several times throughout the year.

The Challenge, Disordered Eating by Paleo Parents

Trust me, I know. I’ve been there. And for many, an annual reset or something you participate in as a community can be a great thing; but if you’re participating in more than 3 Paleo Challenges a year I challenge you to question whether you are using them to justify disordered eating.

When I was at my lowest weight on Paleo, for my 30th birthday because I was desperate for the scale to show me a certain number, I was using Intermittent Fasts as my “purge” with bulimic behavior. It’s taken me years to realize that’s what I was doing, but I’d tell myself I wouldn’t eat for 14 hours, then binge with multiple LaraBars and bacon and fried eggs and then not eat again because I was overly full and filled with guilt.

And then my hair started falling out. And my nails were brittle. I was severely nutrient-deficient again, just as I had been before I started Paleo. And I got sick with an autoimmune flair and adrenal fatigue because my gallbladder-less body didn’t even have enough bile stored to properly digest the one meal I was giving it, not that I was focusing on getting in a variety of nutrient-dense anti-inflammatory foods in that meal either (which is now what I understand Paleo to really be about).

Paleo Challenges aren’t a sustainable lifestyle.

The originators of these plans and challenges and detoxes have said themselves they don’t want people to live their life under these “perfect” mentalities for their daily-lives (see Whole9’s take here and Balanced Bites discuss hers here).

The last year of my life has been the first year I have been legitimately dedicated to my health and wellness, not my weight. I focus on nutrient density, moving my body, and eating low-inflammatory foods that make me feel good. I actively try not to stress out about food. And that’s not easy.

I am fat. And I’m not trying to lose weight. And that’s not easy.

So perhaps my motives are different than yours. But my motives are what drive me – not a warped idea of what I should or shouldn’t look like. I want to be healthy. I want to have energy. I want to play with my kids. My motives remain true to what they were when I originally embarked upon my Paleo journey. I wanted to lose 50lbs, or the absolute dream of 20% of my body weight because my doctor said people who lose 20% of their body weight and keep it off statistically have good health into old age (incidentally I lost over 100lbs and have maintained that 30% loss for years). A lifetime of yo-yoing on and off Paleo challenges aren’t going to keep me strong, improve my blood work, give me sustainable energy and push me to be a healthy 100 years old. Eating nutrient-dense foods, learning to relax, moving my body, getting quality sleep and learning to have patience will. Those are my goals, not being a super model.

Not Rules, Disordered Eating by Paleo Parents

Stopping the Disordered Cycle

When I realized earlier this year that what I wanted, more than anything, was to be strong and use my body for good – rather than feeling like it was a burden (as I’d felt my whole life), it really changed a lot of things for me. My mentality switched. I stopped feeling guilt and shame for not looking like a picturesque health activist or Shape Magazine model, and started appreciating my body for what it can DO rather than what it looks like. I created life – thrice – with this body.  And now, despite never being athletic in my entire life I can move over 500lbs across 60 feet in mere seconds.

What I had no idea would happen, as I feared the judgement that would come along with “giving up” on losing weight, was how supportive and encouraging everyone would be about my open decision to focus on something other than weight loss! Going on the tour was a huge reminder for me, from meeting all the wonderful people who acknowledged that decision and how it influenced and inspired them to do the same. I LOVE meeting women who tell me they are moving their bodies, lifting heavy things, or inspired to focus on health (instead of their scale) because of something I’ve said or done.

It all started being easier for me when I began thinking more about what I really wanted, and what my goals were, to make my own choices and decisions about food, sleep, alcohol, sugar, and all the factors that lead me to good health when I originally started this Paleo journey in 2010. No challenge or mind game necessary – just me and the ultimate desire to be the healthiest version of me – both mentally and physically. If you too are wanting to take this journey, and get off the roller coaster, here’s what I recommend:

  1. Make attainable, sustainable goals for yourself. Not everything, all the time. Not perfection. Not even everything all at once. Tell yourself you’ll drink more water and go to bed earlier if that’s what you can do. Then when you’re ready to take on more, do so. We happen to think Real Life Paleo can help you do just that, but by all means customizing your own plan is essential to long-term success. And with each success you have, the better you’ll feel about yourself to take on more. I know that if I set 50 goals for myself and do 49, I will feel like a failure for the 1 thing I missed. Try to stay positive, this will help you do it!
  2. Don’t let perfectionism be the enemy of the good. In 2012 I posted a picture of our family at 5 Guys (eating bunless burgers) and the interwebz went bananas. We received a blasting of comments from the ‘paleo police’ who condemned our behavior for promoting agents of neolithic disease and shamed us for being bad leaders in the movement (I wish I was kidding). I remember still being out and about town, tears in my eyes as I walked with a toddler on my hip, another kid holding my hand, and having my phone blowing up with notifications of our bad parenting and ineptitude. I remember feeling really overwhelmed with how to handle it. And then Robb Wolf himself commented on our Facebook page to those trolls with the phrase, “Don’t let perfectionism be the enemy of the good” and it’s been my motto ever since. Stress is just as much medically researched to be a cause for chronic health conditions as diet – manage your stress by learning to relax! Know where your own line is, and respect yourself enough not to cross it, but if you have a glass of red wine at dinner when you’d intended to stick with sparkling water – the world will not end. I promise. Shaming others to feel better about your own behavior isn’t a way to win over the world for this lifestyle, either.
  3. Plan ahead: know yourself and your triggers. Alright, here’s the thing. As much as I focus on telling myself I am choosing not to eat something and using all the tips and tricks in the Self Respect postI’m still tempted – we all are! So, plan ahead. Keep your favorite dark chocolate in your purse, or whatever your emergency food is when someone’s being a cake-pusher. Know what restaurants are in your area for when you’re feeling like the only alternative to McDonald’s is your arm – if you can find a Chipotle maybe you’ll avoid the really junky fast food. For us as a family this means snacks in our glove box, my “Mary Poppins” purse full of protein bars (we love RxBars, AMRAP, Exo, and EPIC bars), and treats stashed in the boys’ classroom, lunchboxes or anywhere else we can so they don’t feel tempted or left out when a class mate has a birthday or the teacher uses skittles for a match equation (side note: when did that become a thing?!). If I’m able to go on a book tour and stick to my guns (with a calculated decision on Jeni’s ice cream, which I do NOT regret), then you can too!

I hope this can help and inspire those of you who struggled, like I did, with the recurring cycle of Paleo Challenges with the mindset of disordered eating. Be honest with yourself. Think about what and why you are choosing to do them, especially if it’s more than once or twice a year. Maybe it’s time to challenge yourself to just go Paleo for you.

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  • I know the feeling of once -a-quarter nutrition challenges very well, and I too have done just about every major paleo leaning challenge in existence. I also recognize the pattern of the on/off switch (“on a challenge”/”off a challenge”). A peaceful relationship with food (after coming from an overweight childhood and overweight adulthood) is an elusive goal for me (even still, 4.5 years after going paleo), but in the last few days, as friends locally started making hard after and fast declarations about what rules they would be following, I decided that I wasn’t up for another set of absolutes and rules again. I’m not sure exactly how I’ll proceed for 2015, but I know it won’t be such an on/off wagon dynamic as it has been in the past.

    • Good for you! Thanks for commenting and for sharing! It is exciting to see how others are taking charge of their health in this area!

  • I think the best advice to anyone whether it be about health or other goals is to aim for imperfect progress…. too many people aim for perfection whether it be a ‘diet’, New Year’s Resolutions, or other things in their life. Progress is what we need to aim for…even if it’s imperfect, it’s still progress.

    • Imperfect progress is right! Learning how to measure happenings in progress as apart to right or wrong could change so much for so many. Thanks for commenting!

      • Jen

        My struggle is that when I work for small changes I feel like I’m not actually making any progress. I always feel like I need to be doing more which puts me right back in the cycle. Any advice for learning to be happy with small changes and overcoming the feeling that small changes will never be enough to get to larger goals?

        • I would create a couple of check points for yourself to measure habits/choices, because those are the pieces that make a difference over time. Perhaps it is going to bed by a certain time every week, track it. Perhaps it is journaling general notes on your meals for the day and how you felt, make a goal and track it. When you stop focusing so much on the larger goal, and make your life about these smaller goals that are linked to habits/choices, the big goal will sneak up on you as your reality. Otherwise, if you would like to get involved with a challenge of some sort, Whole Life Challenge would be the one I recommend to avoid disordered eating and focus on realistic change with lifestyle factors allowing for non-perfection.

  • Heather

    This just comes at the best time when I am figuring out if I want to do a Whole30 or 21DSD. I am 98% paleo and I state that because I do well with peanut butter and love it. I have a history of disordered eating and it has contributed to a lot of my health problems. I guess the reason why I debate doing these “challenges” is that I get so caught up in having peanut butter every night or I make homemade peanut butter cups that are without sugar, and it’s the fuel that gets me thinking I am bad for having done so. I have found out that I have Osteopenia at 39 and a stress fracture in the femoral neck of my right hip that I began to rethink how and what I want to be. I too want to be strong but I still struggle with that number on the scale that I jump on every now and then. I am underweight at 5’5″ and 110 lbs. I will not do these challenges, but I will continue to choose the best whole foods I can and just steer clear from foods that don’t give me the nourishment I need to get stronger and repair my frail bones. If I eat more nut butters one day more than I normally would, I will not beat myself up since I chose that instead of a garbage filled candy bar. I thank you for you and Matt’s continued inspiring post about being strong and healthy.

    • Thank you for sharing your story here! It is hard to break the challenge mentality, but recognizing that impulse to challenge is the first step to breaking that habit and finding a new path that works best for you. We hope you find a plan that works best for you!

  • Kristi

    Did you write this for me? Thank you, Stacy. I’ve had a hard road of dieting, binging, purging, pills, laxatives, Weight Watchers, and more purging. I’ve lost several hundred pounds in my life. I’ve found hundreds as well. Right now I’m at my highest weight ever but I haven’t had disordered eating in about 5 years. I tried going paleo for a while then went more primal. That led to just being gluten free. I felt the best being primal (you know, paleo with dairy) but gf things snuck in more and more until last month where I went on a free for all. I even ate McD once. Oh, the guilt and the stomach cramps from all the junk. I’m on day 5 of a whole30 right now to jump start my taste buds back into something more along the lines of what I was eating when primal. I have over 100lbs to lose but I’m not trying to think about that at all. I just want to feel good and healthy and be able to do more with my 3 children. I’ve learned what to watch for through the years for when I start slipping back into a disorder. I know not to track calories or carbs or anything like that. I know not to weigh myself. I now know to watch for any sign of slipping into a disorder as I’m doing the challenge. I just need to be and let be. Thank you so much for the reminder. You are such an inspiration.

    • Thank you so much for the kind words! We are cheering for you and wish you health and happiness in 2015!

  • Jess @ Jess Does Paleo

    I think this is so important! I had a similar post queued up for about a week, and this inspired me to post it. I specifically decided not to do a Whole30 this month for a variety of reasons. 1) I’m going to Cancun for a weekend in January, and trying to make that Whole30 compliant or even paleo is NOT worth it! 2) I actually ate really well over the holidays, in part because I was doing my own private self-care challenge, and 3) I don’t want to feel like I need to fix myself for “being bad” with “good food”. I’m actually having digestive issues right now seemingly regardless of if I’m eating paleo or paleoish, and “paleoing harder” on a Whole30 probably won’t do anything.

    Here’s that article if anyone’s interested – basically, I know myself well enough now to know that it would set my mental health back some, and that’s just not worth it to me at this point when I’m already eating really well without much effort or anxiety about it.


    • Yes – self care challenge, nail on the head! Love it! Thanks for sharing your post!

  • Amanda Browning

    I loved this post…I know you have tried some of the diets as I have read about your experience. I am a holistic nutritionist and this is actually a daily thing I hear about from the general public. Just this last month people asked me endlessly to educate them and offer a detox they can do. I finally agreed and talked only of simple daily practices I hope they do participate in (eat greens, have lemon water, breathe deeply, etc) because it is these (super cliche) lifestyle changes that TRULY make the changes…I used to (and sometimes still am) the person that binges before a “reset” diet [my words for challenge] and it can really mess with the mind. Obviously mindset is key. When I work with clients it is about finding how your body FEELS on these diets and then decide what is most important for you, then make those choices… Thanks for a post of truth!

    • So happy to see comments like this – it is refreshing to know how nutritionists are helping to break the diet/challenge cycle that exist in so many! Thanks for sharing!

  • Heather Harris Jones

    Thanks Stacy.

  • Cajun Cypsy

    Wow – thank you so much for this. I have struggled so hard with kicking my bad habits to the curb, reading this really helped.

  • This post couldn’t have come at a better time, truly. I’m on Day 5 of my 3rd Whole30 in 9 months and I’m not quite sure ‘why’ I’m doing a Whole30. I indulged in too many ‘paleo’ treats over the holidays I suppose, and thought that I needed to do a Whole30 because so many other bloggers that I follow and look up to are doing one. Not really the best reason, I’m now realizing.

    I’ve been pretty consistently paleo since completing my first Whole30 last May and it was my springboard into paleo living which I am so thankful for. BUT, I started to become obsessive over food. I’d never heard of orthorexia before I read your post but I looked up the definition and I possess many of those qualities. I think I developed them, in part, because of Whole30 and becoming a paleophile. I’m constantly comparing myself to paleo and crossfit athletes on Instagram and get discouraged because I don’t eat exactly like they do and I certainly don’t look like them. I’m still trying to figure out what works best for me food wise. I’m really hard on myself if I have a banana or worry that I’m not doing something right if I have a blood sugar dip and need to eat something a little before the 4-5 hour mark in between meals. I compare myself to most everyone I read about who have boundless energy and always feel full without taking into account that I am breastfeeding and I might need more carbs like sweet potatoes, squash, etc. But I still felt bad about eating those things. Foods aren’t inherently ‘bad’ or ‘good’ especially unprocessed and whole food.

    I think that Whole30 is wonderful and amazing and clearly, I’m not following protocol since doing a Whole30 is largely about letting go of ALL unhealthy eating habits which includes psychological habits. So perhaps I only needed a 5 day reset and this wonderful, wonderful post to set me right. I need to eat for me. I must keep this sentiment always in my thoughts: “Comparison is the thief of joy.”- Theodore Roosevelt

    Sorry for the rambling! And thank you Stacy for everything that you do. You are quite exceptional and inspirational. XO

    • that’s one of my favorite quotes, I almost got it tattooed – happy to have helped! stacy

  • Family Chronicles

    Nice Stacey. I really respect you, simply because I know you really have been there. It is much harder to respect the skinny, muscular, one child mom, when advice is given. I have 5 kids, and have been paleo 3 years and have gained 30 pounds. I dont know why. People tell me how I look good, and look healthy, but you are right. It is not about the scale, and the scale often decides how I feel. Thanks for the post. 🙂

    • I’d say more than that, it’s not about how you look but how you FEEL and what your body can DO. When people tell me I look good I say, “and I feel great” and when people happily tell me they’ve lost weight, I ask “and how do you feel?!” That paradigm has been huge for me 🙂

  • Nancy L.

    This is by far my favorite post, ever. Every word of it rang true for me. I am saving this post to remind myself and reread when I feel I am slipping back into old habits that are not healthy for me and for the guilt and shame I feel afterwards. A heartfelt thank you, Stacy.

  • Chelsea F

    I totally loved this post! Thank you for sharing, Stacy! It’s so true, too. When I went paleo, I purposely avoided most of those challenges. I was a little ashamed of that at first, but the reason I did it is because I didn’t want to obsess over my food choices as I was changing my lifestyle (even though I basically quit grains and dairy cold turkey). I definitely think doing a Whole30 or similar challenge every other month sets you up for binging on the “off” months…which is the same type of yo-yo diet lifestyle that so many people want to avoid!

  • candace

    This post came at such a key time for me. I did an assessment at an eating disorder center last week (at the suggestions of my trainer, the nutritionist and the owner of the gym I’ve been a member at since I started my fitness journey over a year and a half ago) after my weight had crashed this summer and I have been incapable of putting it back on. I got the official recommendation today: an intensive partial hospitalization program (another eating disorder center recommended I be put in their 24/7 program but I decided I couldn’t do it). Paleo is not the cause of my disordered eating/thinking but “challenges” are; granted I mostly put the challenges on myself (let’s see how many calories I can burn doing cardio!) and became obsessed with tracking my food and how much I eat. I have destroyed the strength that I had worked so hard for and destroyed my body (and happiness). I wish I could wake up tomorrow with the body (which was a solid 20lbs heavier than where I am now) and strength I had just seven months ago. I know I should take the recommendation of the center and do the program but I am honestly terrified (of what I’m not sure) and don’t know if I can do it. (I’m so sorry to spill this all out on your blog but I don’t really have anyone I can talk to about it).

    • I was terrified as well and it took me so long to take the step of finding support through an appropriate source, and in all honesty I wish I would have done it sooner. Making yourself vulnerable in a face-to-face meeting for eating disorder treatment is a humbling experience, but a massively rewarding one. We are here for you and are rooting for you, but know that talking through your history, your thoughts, and your views on health and wellness can really help you learn and grow to understand where your thoughts and actions are at and where you can move them to create total balance and wellness.

  • Kayla

    This is one of the best posts I’ve read in so long! I truly think that even though these are super great programs for people to get themselves off of a westernized diet, that when you’re truly paleo, you don’t need a whole30 or 21 day sugar detox. those should already be built into your day to day eating habits. thank you matt & stacy for the extremely honest and factual post! 🙂

  • Diana

    Love your honest post! I certainly recognize some of it … Thank you for sharing. Xxx from the Netherlands

  • Jen

    I very much appreciate this blog post! I can relate. I’ve always fought my weight and became an extreme dieter in my teens to begin with, then let go of all my inhibitions in college, which led to a 40lb weight gain. I diet to some degree and obsessed about the number on the scale up until this past summer when I went Paleo. But then, I found out I had hashimoto’s and became obsessed with eating the most restricted AIP diet I could. I’ve suffered from chronic constipation for over 10 years and I know stress has always been a factor in that. Whenever I go on vacation, I become regular again (opposite of most people) no matter what I eat. This last Christmas vacation, I ate whatever I wanted (I was in Mexico so think cheese, tortillas, sugar) yet was regular. My plan was to start another 21 day sugar detox when I got back. I’m 6 months pregnant, I should mention. Well, I started it, but noticed my stress level increasing. I decided to back off and “go with the flow” more with the way my body felt, my cravings, etc. So far, it’s working. I’m much less stressed and just taking one day at a time. My plan is to make my evenings more relaxing by having very simple paleo meals planned out (instead of searching for recipes and trying something different every night). This post really hit home with me, because I definitely fall into the “obsession” of the next perfect diet or way to be. Thank you so much for keeping it real!!!

  • Lara S

    Somebody ring the truth bell, cause this post resonated so strongly with me! As of 5-6 months ago, I now understand that I use compulsive and disordered eating as one coping mechanism to deal with my generalized anxiety. I’ve attempted one Whole30 and one or two paleo eating challenges/episodes of eating ‘strict paleo’. Everything you’ve described, I’ve done. Only very recently, through serious self reflection and therapy, have I come to realize that the ‘moderate’ road is where I need to drive in order to achieve health and wellness. Understanding and practice are two different things, currently, but I’m working to marry them together. About a month ago, I decided to try the ‘Skinne’ and ‘Fuel’ drinks by Nutrie as another tool to help me on my health and wellness way. They offer a 12 week Automatic Body program, which they promote as achieving health and wellness through ‘one small change per week’. I thought hey, doing the program too couldn’t hurt. Well, first things first, they want you to keep a food journal tracking everything you consume, so that you know one thing to change. I did it for a day and a half, and deep down, I knew that this practice isn’t the ‘moderate’ road I want to drive down. This post really affirms to me that it’s alright to not be doing the ‘all or nothing’ approach, and that I’m perfectly ok with developing my own personal plan to health and wellness. Thanks, Stacy, keep on rocking!

    • Thank you for the kind words and for sharing your discovery, I think others can relate to your ah-ha regarding the middle road! We wish you all the best as you forge ahead!

  • Great post ! thanks for sharing and thanks for all the links to older posts. Very thought provoking.

  • Thank you! <3