Overcoming my carbphobia, and fear of food
Disclaimer : This may upset you low carbers or keto peeps out there . I do not think there is anything wrong with eating low carb, this is just about my own relationship with food! Whatever works for you and is sustainable long term, do it !)
This morning I woke up with a headache, but I was hungry . I didn’t feel like eggs . I decided to make a cup of plain oatmeal . I know this sounds boring but for me this was a huge deal ! Oatmeal ?! Carbohydrates ?! You can’t eat carbs while trying to lose weight . I’m pretty sure that’s the first thing instilled in my brain when starting out on my weight loss journey. I was instilled in the belief that “carbs make you fat”. My former self was tortured by the thought. I’ve spent years in terror over carbs. Seriously, I feared them . I wouldn’t let myself eat oatmeal, quinoa, or even fruit because of the carbs, but then I’d restrict so much I’d end up binge eating pizza or McDonald’s (see the irony here ) . I’d beat myself up for however long (days, weeks, even months ) then get back on track of low carbs and high protein. Protein that most of the time I was forcing myself to eat . I’m not a fan of grilled chicken . I’m just not . But if forced myself for years for years to eat it because it was “healthy “ and I’m not saying it isn’t healthy , it is, but it’s not the only gosh darn protein source out there. It felt liberating to come to the realization if I don’t like it, I don’t NEED to eat it.
There are many other proteins including plant based that I’ve missed out on cause of my carbphobia. I’m not saying it doesn’t work –it does- I lost 70 pounds following this belief . But the weight kept coming back , I’d lose it and it would come back . I’ve been trying to really figure out how to beak the cycle and what I’ve been focusing on most is my relationship and fears with food. I was stuck in the “bad food” “good food” “I can’t eat that” mentality for so long that I failed to realized that was the problem . I was burdened by food guilt . I couldn’t eat anything that I deemed was “bad” or I “I couldn’t have” without immense food guilt . That was why no matter how hard I tried I’d fall off , or end up binging. Just to start and restart over and over again.
Now I won’t pretend I’ve figured it all out , but I have made progress with my relationship with food . I was not kidding when I said oatmeal was a big deal for me today . Of course I’ve had carbs for breakfast in the past five years but they were what I considered cheats, or foods I felt guilty about eating . I ate my oatmeal today guilt free and it was not a cheat ! Oatmeal is good for you !! What most people don’t want to accept, myself included, is that no food group is inherently bad for you or makes you fat. Eating too many calories makes you gain weight . It doesn’t matter if it comes from carbs, protein or fat.
I’m not saying with my new revelation I’m going to go out and eat all the carbs (like chips and white bread ) ALL the time , but I’m not going to be afraid of things like sweet potatoes , fruit , quinoa , and oatmeal and other nutritious foods because of their carb content.
I did an experiment , I stopped eating meat for this past week . Now of course this meant adding a lot more carbs . Way more than I was used to especially when I’m “eating healthy”. I ate a ton of veggies , fruits , beans, whole grains ,and healthy fat sources like olive oil and avocado. I was surprised to see I was still getting a decent amount of protein from just beans, plant sources, and eggs . Everyday as I logged my food I still got that twinge of fear when my carbs were way higher than they normally were even though they were coming from all good sources. And guess what?! I lost weight . I still counted calories and remained in a deficit because that’s essential no matter what type of eating plan you follow, but I was shocked . Maybe I’m on my way to debunking for myself that carbs alone make you fat. And you know what they say , in order to get over your fears you need to face them head on ! I don’t want to fear any food group anymore and focus on the quality and nutrition of my foods not just “low carb”. My new goals aren’t just weight loss but to enjoy a night out with friends, or a holiday without feeling guilty , and then just get right back on it the next day . To end the cycle of all or nothing and truly work on the word moderation, which I’ve mentioned before but never really understood.
Since I’ve started this mentality the weight is coming off slower but it is going down. I’m working on my mental health and relationship with food all at the same time. Losing weight isn’t the hard part , it’s finding something that is sustainable and changing your lifestyle to maintain the weight loss is what is hard . It’s been such a learning experience so I guess that is why they call it a journey ! So thanks for all those who are with me on mine. If you made it this far thanks for reading and your support !
4 thoughts on “Overcoming my carbphobia”
“I wouldn’t let myself eat oatmeal, quinoa, or even fruit because of the carbs, but then I’d restrict so much I’d end up binge eating pizza or McDonald’s (see the irony here).”
This resonates with me, so much. Thank you for saying this. 🙂
Thank you for reading 🙂
Good work. The Mediterraneans have known this for centuries. A no carb diet is not sustainable and quite unhealthy. Food logging and staying around 1200 calories a day (including good carbs fruit, legumes and Olive oil) will get you there. Sustainable and healthy without being miserable!