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Heal my mind and body

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12 Feb 2013 22:07 #15335 by Aire
Aire created the topic: Heal my mind and body
I've been reading this forum for a while before I decided to join and write something hoping that someone could help me and that I might help someone.

I (female, 20) have been bulimic for 2.5 years and feel I've reached the lowest bottom possible.
I hope that in certain amount of time I will be able to write back at this saying "I was bulimic and there is now just a scar of the wound left".

I started doing 1 day water fasts a few months ago. Did a 5 day water fast 2 weeks ago and it felt great. My body and my mind felt like my old self. But on day 6, the trigger was there- and I couldn't fight it, I was so weak. And I was back in the awful binge/purge cycle. All of this put me deeper and deeper in depression... Because it is nothing like myself.

I can barely recognize myself, both physically and mentally. I am not ever sure how I got here. How everything got out of control or why I've been so self destructive. I tend to overanalyse everything and I know what causes this but I think it is just too hard for me to face it (will not write about my trigger here since this is already too long :) ).

I am vegetarian (mostly, sometimes, not often, I feel my body asks me for some meat :), even though I do not prefer its taste) and eat mostly fruit and vegetables. Gluten, soy, milk and yeast intolerant. What I am doing to myself right now is definitely being my own enemy.

I will start my water fast tomorrow. Don't know for how long nor that I care... As long as my body wants to (NOT my mind) or as long as I don't feel the 'real hunger'.
I will fight any crises and do the best I can to fight myself and heal my body and refreshen my mind and relationship towards food. I feel it is my duty to do this and let my body rest.

I hope to heal:
my stomach (it is just not working anymore... and acid has become wild...),
water retention (it is bad, my body is confused...)
weight (h: 5ft 5 in, current w: 128 pounds, my normal weight has always been: 100-105)
refresh and relax my mind (put myself back on track...)

Your advices and support are more than welcome and would be a treasure to me :).

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13 Feb 2013 03:38 #15338 by TheFastDoctor
TheFastDoctor replied the topic: Heal my mind and body
Bulimia, dear Aire, is a serious disease but not incurable. I believe regular fasting will help "program" the subconscious mind into better understanding nutrition. Please don't expect success on the first try, nor on the second. It will take many exposures to fasting, re-feeding and even over-indulging (preferably just before the next fast) to "re-program" your biofeedback.

Perhaps it would be wise to "make and appointment" with a binge on a regular basis, so that this unfortunate part of you gets its own niche. A binge just before a fast is indeed beneficial in that it prompts fat digestion, metabolism and breakdown. Allowing yourself this, but at pre-determined times, should over time re-establish your control.

Perhaps you should decide beforehand to break the fast after a certain amount of time, and put some fruit and salads away for the purpose. Then look at these often and make your body crave them in anticipation. Eat them very slowly so as to maximize the psychological impact.

Plus put away some real junk for the day before the next fast, look at that often also and promise yourself you'll have it just before the next fast. No deprivation.

This might resolve some of your body's confusion. But please don't feel "guilty" if it does not work straight away. You did not learn to read in one week. Your body will not learn to read its needs and biofeedback in less than several months.

André

All my posts are "generic", based on my opinions and experiences only and are not intended to replace the advice of your own licensed medical practitioner.
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13 Feb 2013 04:32 #15340 by Leann1
Leann1 replied the topic: Heal my mind and body
Andre,

Much of the literature I've read about fasting suggests eating lightly, mostly fruits and vegetables, before starting a fast. But you've said that binging prior to a fast is okay. I guess I'm confused.

Thank you.

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13 Feb 2013 04:42 #15342 by TheFastDoctor
TheFastDoctor replied the topic: Heal my mind and body
Indeed that's true dear Leann, that the literature is full of that kind of advice. But they are wrong. Eating less and less tends to cause your body to anticipate famine, slow down the metabolism and make the fast overall less effective and more difficult. A little binge nudges your metabolism in the right direction and tells your subconscious mind that the fast is a choice and not an emergency.

Please read widely on these forums. We have discussed this issue in some detail over the years. I have also explained it in some detail in "Health Won".

André

All my posts are "generic", based on my opinions and experiences only and are not intended to replace the advice of your own licensed medical practitioner.

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13 Feb 2013 05:17 #15344 by Leann1
Leann1 replied the topic: Heal my mind and body
Andre,

Thank you for the clarification. I may put aside some of my books on fasting and instead search for answers in the Fasting Connection forums.

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13 Feb 2013 09:57 #15351 by Aire
Aire replied the topic: Heal my mind and body
Thank you for your responses! :)

Dear Andre, I agree with you that it will take a lot of time and effort to get back to what I used to be.
I used to eat mostly vegetables and fruit (when I was able to make my own choices) since I noticed that it does my body good- I stopped being bloated, no acne, no headaches, no digestion problems which I've had for the most part of my life due to bad food I was fed to.
I became aware of the importance of nutrition a few years ago and started making changes.
However, my family ( my "trigger" :) ) were convincing me otherwise and started mentally tormenting me. It is very hard not to pay attention to that when it comes from someone very close to you who loves you. So it lead me to first year of bulimia.
Year and a half ago I decided I couldn't do this to myself and just simply stopped with the binging and purging. It seemed very easy. I was back to eating what I felt my body needed and I let by body do whatever it must to recover. At first 2 months I ended up gaining some weight, but it didn't bother me. Then, suddenly, in a short amount of time, my weight dropped. This didn't bother me either since I felt my body was just getting rid of the waste and adjusting. BUT, my family started doing the thing again and I just didn't know how to fight them back... I was back to bulimia since they were forcing me to eat all this bad food in order to gain weight. As I've said- I am gluten, yeast, soya, milk intolerant (and some more individual groceries).

So, I believe that deciding when to break the fast would not be so good since obeying the "rules" got me here in the first place. I really don't want to put any limitations to myself...
I know it will not work straight away... and it will take lots of dedication, determination and strength to actually find a way to deal with problems that got me here in the first place.

I feel good when fasting because I feel my stomach is resting and not being rebellious. It has got to the point where it does not digest food at all. It takes hours and hours to digest an apple... It is that bad... When I fast, I can feel it getting better.

Thank you Andre so much for your words, it means a great deal to me. I've read many of your posts and I was so happy to find someone that I agree with on so many subjects. And you explain it so well. :)

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13 Feb 2013 18:43 #15362 by TheFastDoctor
TheFastDoctor replied the topic: Heal my mind and body
Bear in mind, dear Aire, you eat not only to nourish your body. You also eat to nourish your friendships, your experiences, and those of our friends and family. These are valid reasons to compromise on a diet as even the healthiest of diets, eaten under pressure and (social) stress, will likely not be digested well and could contribute to ill health that way.

Regular fasting is a great way to get the best of both worlds, particularly if you for example fast on Mondays which tend to be a very unsociable day with all the catching up after the weekend. And in some way you are let "off the hook" on unhealthy foods as you simply don't have anything.. nothing is so much easier to define and practice than trying to draw a line somewhere between a lot and a little..

André

All my posts are "generic", based on my opinions and experiences only and are not intended to replace the advice of your own licensed medical practitioner.

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13 Feb 2013 19:05 #15365 by Shant
Shant replied the topic: Heal my mind and body

The Fast Doctor wrote: Indeed that's true dear Leann, that the literature is full of that kind of advice. But they are wrong. Eating less and less tends to cause your body to anticipate famine, slow down the metabolism and make the fast overall less effective and more difficult. A little binge nudges your metabolism in the right direction and tells your subconscious mind that the fast is a choice and not an emergency.

Please read widely on these forums. We have discussed this issue in some detail over the years. I have also explained it in some detail in "Health Won".

André


Dear doctor,

I couldn't not notice the word BINGE in the topic on BULIMIA. I disagree that it is ok to binge prior fasting, especially for people with eating disorders. It is very likely that if mind isn't strong enough and that particular person isn't 100% determined to fast, they will just tell themselves it's ok to binge a little because they will fast later. But that's exactly what happens when someone is bulimic. They overeat and then they purge. I think we should take this into consideration.

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14 Feb 2013 02:32 #15366 by TheFastDoctor
TheFastDoctor replied the topic: Heal my mind and body
Well dear Shant, sometimes we simply need to agree to disagree. Fortunately we can do so in a civilized manner.

My experience with eating disorders of this kind is that a regularly scheduled "appointment with the enemy" (i.e., "allowing" yourself one "binge" as a last meal before a fast) leads to a reduction in guilt feelings whilst satisfying an innate craving. By removing the guilt feelings, you enhance the sense of satisfaction gained from a (small) "binge" and thus reduce the desire/need for another one. More so if the next one is scheduled in advance anyway.

But obviously like any intervention, one's approach should be individualized and "hands-on".

André

All my posts are "generic", based on my opinions and experiences only and are not intended to replace the advice of your own licensed medical practitioner.

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14 Feb 2013 09:47 #15367 by Aire
Aire replied the topic: Heal my mind and body
Great, I understand what you both mean, thank you for pointing that out.

Shant, yes, that is true, it might happen that a person would eventually tell themselves that it is OK to binge because they would fast later. This would just bring another type of cycle- binging and fasting. That is bulimic too and is no way out. It is tough finding a balance and maintaining it. And it is also so easy, as much as contradictory that might sound.

Dr. Andre, I agree that occasional "appointment with the enemy" would be good.
However, I don't binge because of the food (it becomes fully irrelevant), my enemy is failing to face what triggers me, what stresses me and what irritates me and puts me down- and it is my lack of strength towards standing up for myself and my beliefs in terms of dealing with my (closest) family. It is mental bullying from narrow mindedness.
I will fast to firstly heal my stomach and give it a rest. I know when my physical health and appearance improves that I will be more able to deal with them.
Dr. Andre, in your practice, I believe you've dealt with patients suffering bulimia, what were the outcomes?

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14 Feb 2013 10:41 #15368 by Shant
Shant replied the topic: Heal my mind and body
Aire, you might also talk to the member "happydays" who's successfully recovered from binge eating by following Dr. Kruger's protocol (in his Health won book).

Doctor, I'm now immersed in the topic on leptin resistance, fasting, ampk pathways, protein intake. It seems that fasting lowers leptin resistance - which can lead to uncontrolled eating after each fast and as we can see on FC, it frequently happens. I was only assuming that not everyone is ready to fast as it is a matter of willpower. Sometimes we can fast and sometimes not. That's when it may become a jinxed cycle of binge eating and attempting to fast, failing, bingeing again... and no fasting, making it even more difficult to start a fast.

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14 Feb 2013 12:58 #15370 by TheFastDoctor
TheFastDoctor replied the topic: Heal my mind and body
We've had some excellent outcomes with bulimia, dear Aire, but some people just did not have enough time to do the "course" properly. Ideally one should do more than one cycle under supervision and in an environment where it is easier to fast following the binge. Plus, if you make it an absolute rule that you need at least a 30 hour fast after any binge, and stick with this resolve, things gets easier in time.

Dear Shant, most studies have found that Leptin tends to return to normal within a few hours after resuming eating. Most people with rebound overeating do so for only the "first meal" upon breaking the fast. Sometimes the second also. But if you teach yourself to break the fast slowly and incrementally, you tend to get better control also.

You are of course right in your observations: We do go through biorhythms and no 2 fasting experiences will be the same.

André

All my posts are "generic", based on my opinions and experiences only and are not intended to replace the advice of your own licensed medical practitioner.

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14 Feb 2013 14:42 #15371 by Shant
Shant replied the topic: Heal my mind and body
I'm sorry, I didn't express myself clearly. I meant being already leptin resistant vs. fasting. I think we had similar discussion several weeks, maybe months back. Clearly an off-topic but I thought that perhaps people with eating disorders (such as compulsive eaters and bulimics) are more likely leptin resistant (so the question would be: should they fast?).

Sorry, Aire, for this input. Good luck with healing.

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15 Feb 2013 11:08 #15380 by Aire
Aire replied the topic: Heal my mind and body
It's alright, Shant, every information comes in handy and is processed, it doesn't matter whether it is off topic or not.

Dr. Andre, thank you once again, I will keep up and inform here on forum about my process :).

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17 May 2013 19:49 #16694 by happydays
happydays replied the topic: Heal my mind and body
Dear Aire, I suffered from Binge Eating Disorder for decades...two MASSIVE binges every week , however no purging. Fasting fixed this out for me and I no longer binge. I eat extra on one day per week (including junk food) and call it my "splurge" day, but the urges to binge are quieter now and easily squashed. My "splurges" gradually reduced in size as I became more confident. I maintain my 100lbs+ weight loss by fasting 3 days per week. This has become fairly routine now. Three times I have become unstuck and struggled a bit but I managed to turn things around with the help of the excellent people on this forum. Fasting really was like a miracle for me. I had tried everything (barring a gastric bypass!) to cure my disordered eating.
I very much appreciate that everyone is different physically and that every eating disorder has it's own character however when I first tried fasting I worried that it would CAUSE more bingeing because I would be starving with hunger and grab enough food to feed an army. Oddly it did not. Instead it gave me back control. I do the elimination cycles even on non fasting days and I also meditate...2 short sessions every day.
I have never suffered from bulimia but have a couple of observations, based solely on my own experiences. I assume that you purge after a binge therefore if you do not binge there is no need to purge. :unsure: A "splurge" is not a binge because it is planned, executed correctly and "on purpose". There is no need to purge afterwards because it is part of the plan. There is nothing whatsoever to feel guilty about, to punish yourself for or to make up for. I find that emotional binge triggers can be can be coped with by a form of deferred eating. For example, if someone puts me down and I want to eat junk food, I can eat junk food but just have to wait until the appointed time. It's allowed and ok. This stops feelings of deprivation and also strengthens coping abilities. Confidence will gradually increase as time passes and as you become more relaxed that will have a beneficial effect on your eating behaviour.
When I first joined this forum I called myself Happydays. I was an unhappy 245lbs. I could see no way out. Fasting and a weekly "splurge" seemed a bizarre and contrary way to treat it and yet it worked. It's still working. Sometimes I wonder if my new way of eating is abnormal but when I'm out and about I look around and see what eating "normally" looks like (absolutely no offense meant to anyone here - been there). I had a health check last year with results of someone 20 years younger. I'm fit and energetic. I have peace now around food. I enjoy life and now have happy days. I suppose there is no guarantee that fasting will work for you the way it has for me but give it your best shot and keep with it for a decent length of time. I think you will be surprised and delighted. Good luck.
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