Choice confusion and the anti-inflammatory diet

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    • #9904
      Jane
      Participant

      Hi Gillian and all,

      So week one my big non-weight motivation I came up with was to see if I could address inflammation and the knee pain I’ve been in for the last few years. I already eat what I consider to be a healthy diet (paleo, but not low carb, avoiding processed foods and grains most of the time) but I realized it might be worth trying the Paleo auto-immune protocol to see if that might make a difference.

      This turned out to be a great choice but not for the reasons you’d think: I got to experience the effects of prohibiting choice first hand! In real time, right now. When we are doing the choice module.

      Over the last couple of days as I have tried to transition, avoid certain foods and get ready to fully try out the Paleo AIP I’ve been feeling stressed and irritable and resentful. I’ve resented the fact that I even started the program. I have even found excuses to eat things that I would never normally eat – like cheese and even ice cream (I chose the ice cream and the awful headache that kept me up all night).

      I don’t usually have problems with what I eat, just the fact that I never stop eating, so I obviously haven’t made this a freely chosen choice but reverted to a “have to.” Its been the perfect lesson for this part of the course because I am living and breathing limiting my choices and I am eating worse than ever and am totally miserable about it.

      OK, to my question: Obviously this is a great area to practice owning my choice using some of the tools you mention. The thing I think it has made me realize is that I am not sure that I want to choose this new anti-inflammatory diet. When I started the course the key things I wanted to focus on were stopping overeating endlessly after meals, stopping binging when the “binging light goes on” and stopping picking at food constantly – all focused on eating behaviors. I feel that by doing a really restrictive food plan right now I am getting distracted by what I eat whereas I want to focus on how I eat and eating less. It feels like a big distraction and that I am just making life so much more complicated.

      So my question is do you think its advisable to take on this new challenge of a restrictive diet right now?

      One idea I came up with (just as I am writing this – I think in other threads people have come up with the answer as they’ve been writing) is that maybe I just focus on eating less and learning the skills, such as owning choice, so that I am an in the position to try out the anti-inflammatory diet in the future.

      I just know that right now I am rebelling and feel stressed – and now I am eating not great foods as well as eating too much! A painful lesson.

      Thanks for any insights you can give me Gillian, in the forum or the webinar. And please other people throw in your insights too – I have learned SO much from other threads in the forum already – from people who are in similar stages of the journey as I am – grappling down there in the trenches.

      Jane

    • #9905
      Gillian
      Keymaster

      Yes, you’re right, Jane, you have answered your own question.

      One step at a time.

    • #9951
      Claudia K
      Participant

      Hi Jane,
      I’m kind of in a similar situation. I have SIBO and Candida and I’m currently in treatment which includes a very limited eating plan. I was debating if right now is the best time doing this course since my food choices are so limited but my overeating really sabotages my progress of healing. I can feel myself rebelling against the food limitations and even started eating things I wouldn’t have eaten before like pizza and ice cream. I was a happy vegan before I got sick and even though that limited what I would eat I never felt deprived at all because it was my choice. Wow. Lightbulb moment for me. It really is all about the knowledge of having a choice.

    • #9952
      Jane
      Participant

      Hi Claudia,

      I hear you! I’ve thought through my own way forward in this. I feel that there are a lot of new perspectives and skills to learn in this course so I am dedicating this time to learning them in the hope that, down the road, it will help me should I want to try an anti-inflammatory food approach. In the meantime I am reverting back to my old healthy food routine, with some adaptation (some things are easy for me to give up and change). But the whole experience was a good one in terms of demonstrating the role of choice and how that effected how I ate – so I learned something there.

      I was a happy vegan for years and years on a limited food plan, but it was all my choice. Then when I had trouble getting pregnant I was diagnosed with Candida. Even though that meant huge changes in my diet, it was easy for me to do then because I was choosing the new food plan, with the goal of being in a healthier state to get pregnant. So yes, it is all about choice!

      Right now I am choosing to focus on my behavior rather than my anti-inflamatory diet. That choice might be different in the future. Once I removed the “have to” from the equation, I’ve automatically started eating more healthily again and stopped rebelling – I’m just left with the overeating on healthy foods that is part of my behavior.

      Thanks for the feedback – it is good to know I am not alone in this struggle to determine my choices in the here and now,

      Jane

    • #9993
      Gillian
      Keymaster

      For Claudia, Jane and All,

      When you want to zero in on the application of free choice, revisit the Webinar Replay for Week 2. In the MAKING CHOICE REAL section, go to 38:15 to about 48:58 and that’s where I cover what to actually do about this.

      It will apply to everyone at some point, by the way, not only for following healing protocols – although of course that does bring the issue forward.

    • #9996
      Claudia K
      Participant

      Thank you Gillian. I rewatched the mentioned section of the webinar and I feel like I’m really starting to get it. Now it’s time to put it into practice and remember it when the addictive desire hits me.

    • #10009
      Dory
      Participant

      Thanks Jane and Claudia for bringing this issue up. I’ve had a lot of problems with choice, due to having to follow a restricted diet anyway. Even though I can accept that it’s choosing to eat healthily for me, I have plenty of issues around feelings of deprivation in the present moment, when confronted with ‘forbidden’ foods, especially if others around me are eating them. My go-to response to all this deprivation and feeling locked in, for years, has been to overeat on healthy foods. It’s still overeating. It’s still happening because I don’t feel I have a choice. And it’s still unhealthy.

      On another note, however, I had adopted an anti-inflammatory diet recently, based on the Mediterranean diet, and caused myself some problems with gallstones and the liver: A&E problems leading to scans and medications and awaiting a diagnosis. Kicking out most carbs and substituting them with healthy fats and oils (mostly olive oil) is supposed to be the best approach to healing inflammation, and boosting the immune system. Unless you’re me… it seems. Just thought I’d raise it, as I am now coming round to thinking that going too strict on anything – at least for me – seems to cause as many problems as I hope to solve.

    • #10014
      Jane
      Participant

      Hi Dory,

      I really appreciate your perspective on this issue – its made me think some…

      Even though most of my life I have eaten healthily I do wonder if a bit of my overeating has been caused unconsciously by eating certain “diets” such as the one you mention above. I definitely overeat anyway, as much out of habit and it being “who I am” but I think there is a lack of free choice component in there too.

      And I also hear you about your experiences with the anti-inflammatory diet. The one you mention is the “trend” nowadays and if you read the Internet it certainly seems to work for lots of people. Only there are plenty of people it doesn’t work for and I doubt they feel motivated to post on the Internet about it. I’ve worked in biomedical research and lots of specialists think the whole diet/food landscape is so complicated that they won’t make any calls about the best diet and nutrition – and yet plenty of way less qualified people on the Internet do.

      I think that the beauty of this approach is that it works with the addictive desire to overeat and owning our choices. Once we have those skills, we are in the perfect position to make our choices and do our own experiments as to what works best for us. Right now I am choosing not to follow the “perfect” diet because I want my emphasis on learning those skills more than on what I eat. That choice may change.

      Thanks!
      Jane

    • #10046
      Gillian
      Keymaster

      Dory, reading this post of yours again, I thought of two things that may be of use.

      One is that olive oil is (unfortunately) often watered down with industrial seed oil, which is highly inflammatory. I’ll see if I can find some research on this, but I’ve heard it from a number of sources. I wonder, too, why you mentioned olive oil as being “mostly” part of the Medit diet and not butter, cheese, yoghurt, eggs? I’d think it would be the other way around.

      The second thing is you saying you still feel deprived of foods that are especially unhealthy for you because you don’t feel like you have got a choice. The key here is in knowing the feeling is the last to change, not the first. First, you challenge the BELIEF that you don’t have a choice to eat unhealthy food. Then, the feeling follows later. You challenge the belief by remembering: “bad choices are still choices” and “I don’t need to eat unhealthy foods in order to prove that I’m free to eat them”.

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