Wednesday, 30 November 2011

What you might feel emotionally and how to help yourself

My acupuncturist was talking to me the other day and told me a story of a woman he treats who has been eating really well for 3 years.
She told him that, after being on a really good diet for 18 months, she was horrified when she found herself going into a cake store and buying a whole cake and stuffing the whole thing in her mouth as fast as she could. She said she couldn't seem to stop herself. She was berating herself mercilessly because it made her feel so terrible and she felt so sick.

My acupuncturist said one thing to her and to me,  he said,

 "You need to attend to that part of yourself that got comfort from foods you ate as a child. That part of you still needs comfort but you need to find a different way of getting that comfort. You can't just ignore that place hoping it will go away because it won't." 

When you start this program you probably will have feelings of deprivation and possibly depression.  If you can become aware of these feelings at the time then it is a really good idea to find some form of replacement for that nurturing  that you received from your comfort food.  
We need to retrain our minds to come up with other ways of nurturing our child other than food.

Important: Biochemical speaking make sure you are getting plenty of B vitamins like the ones I have recommended.  Or eat lots of beef liver.  Depression and low energy can be caused by not having enough of B-6, B-12 and Folate. 

The LCHF foods on this program are not addictive like carbohydrate foods.  I'm betting that most of the foods you have found comforting will have been pretty high in carbs.
It is not likely your comfort food was spinach or nuts!
You won't find yourself craving an egg or a curry  but you will come to really enjoy your food none the less.

Other peoples reactions
When you start having some great healing from this diet you will want to tell people what you have done.  Be prepared for some flack.  Some people can be very protective over there carbohydrate addiction.  
My Story-
  I was going through a really hard time at the beginning of this program, feeling really tired, doing a lot of healing and emotionally going through the withdrawal of the loss of my comfort foods (carbs). Right at this time my best friend told me that people can't live without carbs as they are absolutely necessary for life. I told him I was still eating carbs but only vegetables.  He ignored this and went on with telling me that it's just not natural to not eat carbs and people can't be happy without them.  It wasn't because he was mean, it was simply that he couldn't imagine himself without his comfort carbs.  
Funnily enough I finally encouraged him to start the programme as he is pre diabetic, overweight and always getting sick.  Although he loved bacon and eggs for breakfast and he lost a lot of weight, he wouldn't give up the fruit and so his addiction won out and he went back to his old high carb diet again.  Back to a muffin and latte for breakfast!  
"My body knows what to eat!"
People will tell you they know what their body needs and it lets them know what they need to eat, so they don't need help with their diet.  Of course they will say this and then in the next breath tell you of some ailment they have.
 If we were able to eat right from childhood the above statement would be true.  
However there are learned aspects of the hunger drive. These can be blamed on early childhood parental practices, in which parents put babies out of touch with the natural physiology of when, what, and how much to eat. Humans have this natural mechanisms, but humans have learned not to pay attention.
"Oh I've tried that", people will say
and then they proceed to tell you how it wasn't right for them.  Of course they usually haven't kept it up for very long because they start to have carb withdrawal symptoms and they think it't because their body doesn't like being off carbs.
 "The more technical term for carbohydrate withdrawal is “keto-adaptation,” because the body is adapting to the state of ketosis that results from eating fewer than sixty or so grams of carbohydrates a day.  This reaction is why some who try carbohydrate restriction give it up quickly. (“Carbohydrate withdrawal is often interpreted as a ‘need for carbohydrate,’ ” says Dr Westman.  “It’s like telling smokers who are trying to quit that their withdrawal symptoms are caused by a ‘need for cigarettes’ and then suggesting they go back to smoking to solve the problem.”)"
Quote from Gary Taubes author of Why We Get Fat.
Addictions for Wheat and Sugar
Some people can even get quite angry  when given the possibility that they could give up their comfort carbs. See my post on wheat and gluten for more information on this.
Sugar cravings for some people are similar to Heroin addiction cravings.
My Story-
I got the weirdest cravings in the beginning of the program.  I had given up gluten (bread) a quite a few years ago, so I was surprised when the visions of food I had was this white toast with margarine that I once had in my childhood.
 Hey, I can understand perhaps a buttery croissant craving, but give me a break, white toast and margarine? 
But then I realised there was a big emotional component to this craving, because it was a point in my childhood where my mum was working all the time at a hospital, I was lonely, but I was allowed to go to the hospital kitchen where the cook (she was nice to me) let me eat all this white toast (we only ever has wholemeal at home) and huge amounts of margarine (we only had butter at home).  
This was my comfort food at that time and that memory was being resurfaced because it was an old way I got comfort in a time of need.  I guess the feelings of needing comfort were surfacing because I wasn't squashing it down with any normal comfort foods.

Ways to Nurture yourself:
Stop eating all sweet things.  This is vital and will enable your addiction to abate and you will not longer crave carbs.

  Instead you could:      

  •  Watch an inspirational movie
  •  Watch or read something funny
  •  Having a cup of good decaf with cream
  •  Listening to my Daily Practice for Self Nurturing- here 
  •  Journal your thoughts and feelings and needs
  •  Read a great awe inspiring book
  •  Go for a stroll really looking at your surroundings and appreciating them.
  • Get support from a good friend who understands how important this program is to you and your health.
To download my Audio 'Daily Practice for Self Nurturing' right click the mousse on 'here'  above and go to 'save link as'
Here is a pdf list of Feelings and Needs to use with my Daily Practice for Self Nurturing.
Avoid TV commercials of other people eating.  Eating, is an overt and socially learned behaviour. Often we humans eat when others are eating, even if we are not hungry. Also advertisers use pictures of people eating when advertising food to get you to eat their food even if your aren't hungry.  

Go to celebrations having already eaten a full meal and bring something to munch on also.
Food is associated with celebrations, and usually food is part of the celebration. In most cultures, it is not acceptable to say "no thank you" to a dessert, such as a birthday party for example.  You will need to make a stand for yourself at this point. 
 Say something like, "I'd love to have some cake, but my doctor would kill me."  

Unconscious Eating
You may find yourself eating something before you actually become aware of what you are doing.  Forgive yourself and get back to the program right away.

If you cheat forgive yourself!
More than likely you will cheat sometimes.  Don't use it to give yourself a hard time nor to give up.  Yes, you have made it harder on yourself physically but no need to make it harder on yourself emotionally.

Keep a journal
 The road to health, despite so many in the Low carb community saying it's only the beginning which is rough, has its low points every now and again.
The road to great health will take time and there will be moments that you feel fantastic and THEN...there will me moments of healing reactions.  
These moments will often come just after a time when you have been feeling good because its then your body has reached a place where it can now do some more healing.  Thus the healing reactions.
At the very start of this program think of all your health challenges and write them down in a health journal.
You will need your journal because it will remind you of all the health problems that have already disappeared and so reinforce your commitment in the times when things aren't quite so easy. 
I guarantee you will forget the health challenges that quietly disappear.
I have had to remind my husband, of many of his health problems that have gone.  I would ask him, "How's your scaly head?, which he had had for more years than we have been married. "Oh it's gone", he says.  He just didn't and still can't remember ailments that have gone unless I remind him.

And most biggest of all: Get Support from others who are successfully on the program
It is so important to have peer support from others who have gone through the same problems as you and have come out the other side while being on this program.
No matter how silly the question might seem I can guarantee others have gone through something similar and can be there to reassure you.
This is something I would like to offer you on this Blog.

And last but not least check out some of the other Blogs online to see there are some really sane people doing the same program as you
For instance Dr Michael Eades has a blog and does the program himself:
Dr Jay Wortman also has a blog.  He did a study and movie using this diet on Eskimos.
He and his family are dedicated HFLC's:

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