In January, my husband TJ and I will begin the Whole 30 program. I’ve been mentally preparing since before Thanksgiving. I’ve purchased the book. I’m reading it. I’ve got friends and family doing it at the same time, and I’ve already started to play with going gluten-free. I’m ready, right? My good friend, a nutritionist and Whole 30 coach, Green Plate Kate, indicated that maybe I’m not. I had mentioned being worried that old eating disorder stuff may come up, and her response was, “ooh, I’m not sure you should do it then…. If you’re prone to it W30 really screws with you, it sends people off the deep end. You’ve heard of orthorexia”?
— an obsession with eating foods that one considers healthy.
— a medical condition in which the sufferer systematically avoids specific foods in the belief that they are harmful.
Um, yep, I think I’m on that spectrum. In the 90’s I shunned, as did many of my peers, all avoidable fats. I purchased fat-free foods and food products, shied away from red meat and dairy and saved my fat grams for the foods I believed I enjoyed the most, baked goods. This large consumption of empty calories and sugar led to a viscous cycle of binge eating and excessive exercising. Years later, with the help of going local while traveling abroad I realized I felt better and was actually leaner when I ate fat and protein. And, I didn’t have to purge (run) so much.
Once I became a mother and began breastfeeding, I became more intense about food than ever. I was very conscious to keep my sweet babe from ingesting preservatives, chemicals and pesticides. I did everything in my power to avoid anything at all unnatural. Adios MSG and anything I couldn’t pronounce. Just this morning I trekked myself out to three grocery stores to find all natural pork sausage for the chili TJ was making. How could we combine organic veggies and 100% grass fed beef with preservative laden pork?!
As my babes became toddlers and I witnessed their reactions to too much sugar, or too much pizza, I became the sugar and carb policewoman that I still am. We have definite white food limits at our house. Our pediatrician and I have had arguments about whether or not sugar can lead to strep throat, a once common household occurrence. Besides, we pay good money for quality fruits, veggies and meat. I don’t want to waste it on empty-calorie garbage.
Then there are the drinks. I am off and on coffee. I am off and on Kombocha. I have the intention of being off and on alcohol.
Yes, the tendency toward orthorexia is present.
But then Green Plate Kate texted back, “… if you are super aware and MINDFUL, which you are, it could be ok…tread carefully”. Her advice leads me to this blog.
For lots of 2015 I toyed with starting this Mindfulmama blog. I’ve been doing formal mindful meditation almost daily for over a year and a half. I have taken two on-line courses and worked my way through some great books. I want to share what I am learning! I have a few unposted blogs about my experiences being mindful and I have loads of blogs about what I have learned during my experiences being unmindful. I have thus far been too chicken to share stories about me losing my shit about/with/on my kids (and sometimes my husband, less often my students or strangers) and the lessons I’m learning via these awful (learning laden) experiences, but for whatever reason the idea of sharing my experience being mindful with Whole30 isn’t quite as daunting. So here is my first post.
If you, like me, have been both battling and celebrating with food for a long time, I invite you to join me on the next leg of my journey into consciously examining my emotional and physical relationship with food.
I may need your support too.
A mindful mama