The Gnu Winner And WIAW Self-Discovery

Hello Friends! And A Very Happy Hump Day To You!

Not only is it What I Ate Wednesday, it is also time for me to announce the lucky winner of the GNU Bar Giveaway!!!

I appreciate all your participation and I am excited to announce mcmmcclain, Gnu will be sending you a box of their scrumptious Blondie bars you specified you would love to try!

Please e-mail me ( with your information so I can pass it along to my friends at the company!

Also, since there were so many of you who expressed your interest in the bars, I mentioned last week they have a great offer to be part of their Joy Fiber Club…A sample box and no shipping?! Sounds great to me!!!

Thank you again for participating!


Ok now, there is something I want to discuss today that although does not follow the standard protocol of WIAW in the rest of the blog world, I felt some of you might be able to relate, so bear with me for a little bit 🙂

A lot of progress in recovery can only be made if you are HONEST, which is probably why I felt weirdly better after venting Saturday and Monday in this very public forum.

An aspect of blogging I appreciate (well, sometimes appreciate) is the accountability it can provide, because no matter how well I think I am doing, if I truly am not, someone will notice and will most likely call me out. This has been extremely helpful to me because my mind is completely messed up and often likes to pretend everything is fine, or ignore the signs of my fall backs, even though my journey is quickly spiraling out of control.

Anyway, sometimes it has taken other people’s comments and advice for me to advance in this process successfully. Others have often been “my eyes.”

But since being an adult is about taking responsibility for yourself, I have been trying really hard to be completely truthful with myself, about my needs, feelings and struggles. This has caused me to admit a lot of things that I wasn’t necessarily ready to say a few months ago; for example the exercise post I wrote last week would NOT have been acceptable to ED before.

Skipping a day on the treadmill in order to enjoy the great outdoors, would not have ever been a consideration, but now I look forward to my less structured weekends, and the positive feelings that come from the breeze blowing across my face and chit chatting with family/friends.

Similarly more truths are starting to emerge about my food choices, eating habits, and bodily requirements that even though are hard to accept, they are what I NEED to follow and just go with right now…and maybe forever, who knows?

Here are a few things I am starting to discover…

1. I need more calories than any stupid calculator tells me.

This seems like a pretty obvious one but if I told you how many websites, books, formulas, etc. I have consulted to determine my daily “needs,” I would sound pathetic.

Even if I were weight restored I shouldn’t put immense faith into those programs because every person, every body, is different.

Those devices might be great for someone who needs a rough guideline and won’t interpret their calculations as a dictator for their lives, but for me, they are harmful and inaccurate.

I guess I didn’t so much discover the fallacy of these tools, but more so that I don’t necessarily have ONE value of energy I need EVERY day.

Again, this probably sounds really obvious, but there was a time where I thought if what my body required was 2000 calories (according to the all-knowing websites), then it needed that on a consistent basis…

It could eat less, but NEVER any more.

So what if I ran 8 miles in the morning. That did not mean I adjusted my eating for the day. That meant I stuck to what the computer generated as my statistics and that was that.

Stomach was still growling? That just indicated my body was stupid and didn’t know anything.

Don’t I sound like I had that intuitive eating concept down pat?!

Pre-ED days, in college especially, when I was being healthily active and participating in athletics, I would estimate I ate close to 2500-3000 calories at certain times.

I didn’t die, nor did I blow up like a balloon and perhaps I should remember that when I go to re-download that stupid Myfitnesspal during a weak moment, just so I can “make sure” I didn’t overeat at dinner.

CJ, you did not die from the extra bowl of granola. You will live and be a better person because of it.

2. Life is so much better when you aren’t incessantly hungry.

There is a caveat to this because the guilt of nourishing myself properly does kind of suck, BUT I can focus more, am not AS cranky, sleep better, and can be around people in a more fun manner, all because my stomach is not growling like a lion.

The other morning I was like a hungry beast and could not be satisfied despite the “perfect” ratio of nutrients I had eaten. I thought, “Ok I will drink a diet soda…that used to work and the hunger will vanish.”

A can of Diet Pepsi Max later, I was still freakin’ starving.

I thought, “I will just leave the house as a distraction, maybe take a walk.”

My belly rumbled before I even turned the key in the ignition.

It was 9:45 in the morning and I decided it was time to make lunch, because I literally wanted to cry from being so torn.

Hurting belly, or temporary difficulty with a decision to eat?

Was it worth me being miserable and exhausted just because it wasn’t “time” for me to have food.

No, and if I would have waited, NO ONE would have wanted to be around me….not even me.

3. Which brings me to the point that my body does not operate by the hands of a clock.

I used to abide by my watch to determine when I could eat.

Breakfast before 6:30…no way.

Bedtime snack before 9 PM…absolutely not.

Well I have news for you. Sometimes I am ready for my am meal before 6:30.

Sometimes my body obviously wants lunch around 10 am since I wake up at the butt-crack of dawn.

My body is pretty smart and I typically end up hungry for about the same amount of calories per day, regardless of the time I eat them, and who cares if it is a little more!? Maybe I just took 500 more steps, or maybe an extra snack sounded good; either way, my body is a pretty miraculous creation of God, and is way smarter than I am.

What I have learned is it is so much better to honor my internal cues, because they are the BEST indication of when fuel is needed.

*And newsflash, if you truly eat when you are hungry, it will keep your metabolism regulated…restriction causes a slow down. Just so you all know 🙂

4. A veggie burger will not satisfy me when I want some red meat.

I totally respect vegetarians.

I tried that avenue once, but it just doesn’t work for me.

I try to be as selective as I can with the meat I buy for ethical reasons, but this girl needs a good Bison steak every now and then and its usually because my iron levels have dipped too low.

(Remember what I said a few paragraphs ago; our bodies are good at telling us what the need…specific nutrients included)

In the past I have played the substitute cravings game….I wanted beef but went for a veggie patty over a salad instead because there were 50 extra calories in the cow.

Uhm, I love you Morningstar, but your alternative did not work.

It might have temporarily, but what I have learned it is better to just eat the beef, because chances are, I was going to go hunting for something else following dinner because my craving was not satisfied.

My body wanted the red meat, it needed the red meat…moral of the story, eat the meat.

This also applies to the cookie I used to desire that would go by the wayside for a piece of fruit.

I enjoy a good apple, sometimes even every day, but fruit and cookies are NOT at all the same.

Does anyone else agree?

I am sure as this journey continues I will discover, and be ready to admit more, but I feel like “coming clean” about my past bad habits, acknowledging the fact that some of these things are so false/distorted, and saying/writing them in a format where others can help confirm the ridiculousness of my ways, helps promote rectification.

To at least follow some of what WIAW is about I will say I have honored my body by eating:

  • CHEESE, Trader Joes Brie and Goat to be exact, which were COMPLETELY foreign to me until recently
  • Different protein sources like Trader Joes 96/4 Burger Patties (with the aforementioned cheese 😉 ) and Perdue Simply Smart Lightly Breaded Chicken Filets. <—AMAZING, by the way!
  • Potatoes (which were always very scary due to carbs and the fact that they cannot be accurately measured without a food scale)
  • LOTS of Chobani (uh, 4 containers in one day…woops, sorry wallet)
  • Vita Tops…the craze continues and I am not counting down to the premier of Vita Pizzas!!!!
  • Nut Butters (PB Crave, Wild Squirrel Honey Pretzel and Naturally Nutty if you must know 🙂 )

Of course there are other things included in my menu but these are the things I have been CRAVING like crazy, which indicates to me that I need a bigger variation of nutrients in my diet.

Vegetables are great, but they cannot provide essential fats, proteins and carbs I need for physical repair.

If you are also struggling please try to remember the things I wrote above.

I have a hard time accepting them, as well, but don’t they say admittance is the first aspect in overcoming the problem?!

Happy Eating!!!


14 thoughts on “The Gnu Winner And WIAW Self-Discovery

  1. Oh man this is the girl I love to hear from. You are working really hard and am glad you are respecting your body and its cues. I personally hate all those calculators, In recovery and even in maintenance I always eat more. It is just how my body works and needs to function. I am a much happier person when I do! Glad you discovered all that for yourself. Those burgers and fingers sound great. Yum!

    • haha my husband and I like to call me “Crungry!” because i am ALWAYS cranky when I am hungry so it is just best for all of us if I eat when my belly says its time 😉 The perdue chicken is amazing….its like healthy chicken nuggets!!!

  2. Great post! I was actually just talking to a friend about the “Eat This, Not That” books and Hungry Girl recipe books and how they do not provide very helpful advice. They are so unrealistic! The ETNT books always say, “Don’t eat the triple burger, fries, and milkshake – eat a salad instead.” Sorry, not going to work if I’m wanting a burger. And telling me to get a diet coke when I want a milkshake or McFlurry somehow seems futile.

    And the Hungry Girl recipes? Please. Fat-Free cheese inside a ground turkey patty on a 100-calorie bun does NOT make a good replacement for a cheeseburger. I think some of her recipes are actually good, just not as substitutes for the “real thing.”

    And I really agree about the whole calculator/eating by the clock thing. I think the calculators can be accurate, but only if I’m honest about my activity level. My dietitian and I have gone around in circles arguing about whether I’m “sedentary” “slightly active” or “moderately active.” We eventually just gave up and decided to focus on what was working rather than arguing about the exact definitions. 🙂 We also decided that instead of “making up” for exercise on the day I do it (Ok, I’m doing Zumba, so I need to make sure I eat more today), that I would just have an average daily amount I’m supposed to eat throughout the week. I don’t know if that made a lot of sense, but it helps keep me from bargaining with the eating disorder – “Oh, well, I didn’t walk as much today, so I have to cut back.” Glad to hear you are working on accepting your body for what it needs and wants at this time!

    • thats great advice about the exercise!!! it makes days seem so less rigid and I think that is absolutely essential for recovery!
      I agree about the eat this not that books. I always read them because I think they are interesting…or my ed thinks they are interesting, but seriously, if you go to McDonalds, do you really want a salad? probably not!

  3. Yes, it is so important in recovery to be honest. Even if its hard to look in ourselves and find that honesty and realize we are doing something wrong. Its not a bad thing, just something we learn from each time it happens! And helps us grow as a person.
    I’m so happy you are realizing these truths about what your body needs!! Don’t underestimate the power of your body telling you what is best for it.
    Yes yes to needing more calories than a calculator tells us. Mine usually gives me 1200 calories, um that would simply suck! Imagine what I’d have to consume when I’m 30 and my metabolic rate slows down…like 800. Not okay, not healthy. Those calculators are stupid, and I don’t think anyone should follow them, unless they have a metabolic problem…
    I definitely agree to everything you stated in this post!! Life is much more enjoyable when we aren’t starving and not thinking of food all the time. And that our bodies aren’t calculators and don’t operate from clocks. This is something I am still working on as well! It gets hard at work when I work late and it passes my “night snack” time, I get frustrated having to wait two hours. But, that’s how life works sometimes! Haha.
    You are doing great in admitting these things, and that is certainly the first step. Now to act one them! So proud of you continuing your progress! You can do this.
    (Sorry for the super duper long post!)

  4. This is such a great post and it is so important to listen to your body… because another thing those calculators don’t take into account is your metabolism! If I don’t listen to my body when its hungry, then I tend to either eat junk food to make up for it or eat way more than I need… while there are days where you’ll feel really hungry, there are other days when you’ll be fine with your allotted calories.

  5. I hope you’re able to move towards a better place! Think of all that you could accomplish, all the change you could make, all the impact you could have in the world, if you could redirect the attention you currently place on your body and calories to bigger things. Besides, you look stunning in that cheerleading picture, so if that’s your baseline (where you’d go without the ED) that’s not half-bad! You deserve better, your husband deserves better, and your future kids (?) deserve better. You can do it! And hopefully you can free yourself of MFP and calorie counting entirely – they really aren’t the full picture

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