Guest blogger Rob Cohn is an ACE certified personal trainer from the Los Angeles area. He has many years of personal experience with emotional eating and recovery from a binge eating disorder and is passionate about helping other people deal with their emotional eating with guidance and support. You can read more on Rob from his own personal blog.
I will never forget when I was 13, I was astonished how my uncle stayed so thin and he never finished what was on his plate. I remember saying to him, How do you know when you are full? He replied, I eat until I am satisfied and then stop. I remember thinking, What are you talking about? I have never understood that concept and I still don't. I am a member of the Clean Plate Club. I feel like I have been out of touch with my body for a very long time, about 30 years since I was 13 when my mother passed away.
By overeating enough at the right times I could go to sleep or just veg out in front of the TV with food. As I got into my mid-20s I noticed that I had a lot of gas and was going to the bathroom a lot. Years went by and I was never able to correlate what was going on with my body in relation to what I was eating. At some point I just surrendered and said to myself, This is just the way my body is. Meanwhile I was struggling with food and always feeling hungry.
In 1999, after I found a 12-step group for compulsive eaters, I learned a new way of eating and started eating three meals a day. That is where my work began in relation to my eating issues. I stopped eating white sugar and white flour. That is also when I learned about eating different vegetables.
In March of 2009, I was gaining weight like crazy and I was eating what I thought was healthy. What I didn't realize was what I was eating was making me sick. I decided to call a friend of mine who is into holistic health and knows a lot about nutrition. When I told her that I was eating one pound of raw vegetables with lunch and one pound of raw vegetables with dinner, she couldn't believe it. She asked me if I were a horse and commented that I was eating enough rough vegetables to feed for a small family.
We then further discovered that my problems were happening after lunch and dinner. She immediately made me change my diet. For one week I was not allowed to eat any vegetables at all and only simple grains like oatmeal, yams and sweet potatoes. I couldn't eat anything that was loaded with fiber. That night when I had my new way of eating at dinner I felt so good it was crazy. After a week I gradually added a little bit of vegetables here and there. She also told me that if my body did flare up that drinking mint or chamomile tea would help calm things down.
What I learned out of this is that I can no longer afford not listen to my body and I have to pay attention to what my body is telling me after I eat certain foods. I have had to give up spicy foods for now because of how it makes me feel. I can't eat the quantities of raw vegetables like I used to. Learning how to eat all over again has me feeling better than I have in years. My mind is so much clearer now and I don't feel depressed anymore. I discover now that I can eat slower, eat more wholesome foods and feel fuller longer.
Although we want to fit in and we want to find an easy answer to help our bodies, we have to remember that we are all different and our bodies may require different things sometimes. There are experts out there to help us when we cannot help ourselves.