Macros & Disordered Eating

Unfortunately in the world of fitness and health, this issue is very very real. It is not talked about a lot. Actually, I take that back, sometimes it's talked about too much so that it gets on my nerves. It has become this community on instagram, like that makes it okay. If there was a community of alcoholics posting how they had a drink tonight, but tomorrow was a new day, people would not tell them how inspirational they are. It kills me, but I digress. I also know that we all need encouragement in those hard times and I get that...I really do. But I just think sometimes it has been taken to a new extreme. That was NOT the purpose of this blog, so I have no idea how I got on that subject. HA! 

I think there is this unhealthy belief with some that macronutrient counting can heal eating disorders. We all know that's false, but some like to believe it. There are coaches that target girls with eating disorders because they know that they are desperate to cling to something that they know will work for them. 

Do I believe that macros cure eating disorders? Duh. No. 

Do I believe that it's a gateway drug to food freedom? Absolutely. 

And that's where this whole "stages of disordered eating" title comes in. Women will be women, and I would venture to say that 90% of women have some form of relationship with food. That doesn't just mean restriction. That is all across the board. There is a new title of a new pattern of eating established every other day. I think that it all comes down to mental clarity and peace. 

If a woman puts on her skinny jeans after they have been washed and her belly is rolling over the top and she thinks "Man dang! That pizza probably wasn't a good idea last night. I should probably lay off" ... is that really that serious? NO. Calm down folks. Everyone has those thoughts. I feel like we all have gotten a little touchy on the subject. 

Did you think about the belly pouch all day long analyzing every single thing that you put into your mouth the rest of the day in fear and guilt? Well, that's a little different. 

They say that the quicker that you grab ahold of the issue, the easier it is to get rid of it. So, that might be why some are able to live normally and function in society unlike others that may have gotten in "too deep"

I personally believe though that there is a large gap in education, and that's half the battle. We are taught from a young age that less and less means skinny. We are taught and people joke that "Oh I like food too much to look like her" or "Ah! I would be skinny but I like to eat too much" reinforcing day by day that in order to not be overweight, you have to not eat. There is no middle ground. There are no people except those that just have these magical metabolisms that can be in good health and not be starving, right? That's what we all believe, and it's so false.

It's so annoying. 

I'm 100% convinced that if I had been taught in school and from a young age about nutrition, then I wouldn't have wound up just not eating. I thought that was the only way. This just led into bad habits, and we all know that habits are really hard to break no matter what they are about (not just food)

I simply think that for many people, macros provides EDUCATION on food. It provides the insight to being able to recognize that all food is metabolized the same whether it's an ice cream cone with carbs and fat or a banana and peanut butter with carbs and fat. Before I learned about the actual nutrition in food, you could have NEVER convinced me that I could eat a candy bar and still stay on track to my goals. Absolutely not. I had to see the numbers and see how to track that for myself. I had to learn to break down these walls of the labels that I had placed on food one by one. 

However, then you come to this crossroads that once you have learned these things, do you keep doing them forever? No. I don't think so. I think that every girl in the macro world goes through stages. She eats chicken and brocolli only. She's introduced to macros. Her life changes forever. She counts down to the gram for years thinking she will count forever. Then that gets tedious, so she starts feeling guilty about it. Then, she goes into intuitive eating. It's comical how this seems to always happen, but that's a beautiful process. If that's what it takes for someone to have food freedom, why are people (excuse my french?) such ass holes about it? People get SO RILED UP about girls doing macros to heal their relationship with food. 

However, again this is where the stages comes in. There are girls that begin to count, and things don't change. They won't start venturing into other food choices, they won't increase their intake, and they still talk all the time about how they are having "bad image days". Yes, that's a mental illness. If you are looking in the mirror at a tiny body and saying you feel fluffy, there is something deeper going on. That can't be helped with macros, but that's not everyone. Some people just need education on nutrition. 

We are so quick in the fitness and health world to slap everyone with an eating disorder when that's just simply not the case. And then those with eating disorders, we talk nothing about the science and nutrition of things and just work on their "relationship with food". No one ever sits them down to tell them the way that the carb in a milkshake is metabolized is the same as the carb in their oatmeal (Please don't get technical on metabolism of carbs here-I know the difference but in terms of weight loss/gain). Girls are not taught this, and therefore they continue to fear these foods. They STILL associate weight gain if they eat the bad foods.... weight loss if they don't eat or eat the good foods. 

Why can these two worlds not collide? Why is not okay for girls to be taught about reverse dieting in therapy for eating disorders? Yes, if they need to gain weight then they need to eat in a surplus but some people are totally fine in their weight, but just can't get over everything mental. Why can't we teach them about nutrition? People get so up in arms about this topic, but I just don't understand it. I know that we need to work on their mental state, but why can't counting macros be a gateway drug into intuitive eating like it has been for so many people. 

Why do people almost crap their pants if a girl with an eating disorder starts counting macros? She will count for a period while she learns about the nutrition in foods and then we can encourage her to move forward in her journey. If counting macros is what gets her to gain weight safely and slowly without losing her freakin mind, then why are we so angry about it? If the alcoholic just wants to go SIT in the bar because that's what makes him feel better and at ease, then why are we so mad? He's not drinking (aka if a girl needs to count macros and she's not restricting and not binging). Just let the girl "sit at the bar" to ease her mind.

This is a topic that I never want to talk about because I DO NOT target girls with eating disorders, and I'm not trying to get not ONE of them as a client. I tell every single person that I don't do that, it's outside of my scope and I have an RD that I refer them to. I'm not here with this blog post to make money but simply to say "I'm annoyed at this logic"

Lastly, because I really don't want to upset people, I do not think that it's appropriate for a girl to just become obsessive and replace one obsession with another. I really do get that. I swear, and I guess there are girls who can handle it, and then other girls who become obsessive over it. Me-I'm not obsessive. I counted down to the gram while I was reverse dieting but I wasn't like neurotic about it. If I couldn't one day, I didn't freak out. And now, I hardly count at all. I just make sure I get a balance of foods by loosely tracking. It's not obsessive.AT ALL. THAT DRIVES ME CRAZY WHEN PEOPLE SAY IT IS. Different strokes for different folks I guess. We are all different. It's not obsessive to me. It's the most liberating thing that I've ever done in my dang life.

That is all. 

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