Floater's diary

Floater

Well-known member
I'm going to put my food diary here, because I have a ton of complicating factors from food aversions due to being autistic, being on appetite suppressing ADHD medications, having a past of suffering from EDs and still recovering from a complete mental breakdown last summer. These all affect my approach to food, exercise and weight loss/maintaining current weight. I'm not obese, neither do I have weight-related physical health issues, but I feel like I have no touch to what my body needs so I tend to restrict without realizing it and the binge later. I also have a tendency to swap proper meals to liquid calories, which way too often means beer.

I take long walks with my dog and go to the gym whenever I can, which is not often due to corona restrictions and my poor mental health. I'm still physically in a good condition, I squat and deadlift 90 kg which is a bit more than my body weight. The issue is that because my diet is very poor and restricted to foods I consider "safe" and palatable, and I have no proper feeding rhythm, I don't recover from workouts very well and I get pretty sick after working out. So in order to successfully work out, I have to first get my eating in check. And right now that means eating more, not less, and cutting my intake of liquid calories.

I plan to first just document what I eat in a day. No counting calories, no judgment, just observing and writing everything down. For example; my morning started with a black coffee and a handful of scraps off a roasted chicken, and for lunch I had one 500ml can of lager and a cheese pizza. On a weight loss forum it's a total joke, of course, but this is the reality of what I am able to eat right now. And writing it down helps me focus on food more, and apply my skills and knowledge about what's good for me on my daily life.

Before commenting, please understand that even living on cheese pizza is better than living on fumes. I am able to restrict and fast without much effort and this tends to become a problem whenever I'm in a bad place mentally. Last summer I first restricted due to anxiety, then stopped eating altogether and was hospitalized with dangerously low levels of potassium in my blood... So I'm doing my very best to avoid ED behaviors while also focusing on eating better quality food and more frequently than I now do.

At first I'll try to write down what I eat daily, and then when a proper/better diet has become routine, I'll probably decrease the frequency and add more topics and yada yada. :)
 

LaMaria

Well-known member
Hi Floater and welcome to the forum! Sounds to me like you know your strengths and weaknesses and have your priorities in order. I 100% agree that fed is best, even if it's not the perfect fuel for your body. Being honest with yourself is going to serve you better than chasing unrealistic (for now) goals.
 

alligatorob

Respected Member
Hey Floater welcome! And I agree a first good step would be keeping a diary of what you do eat. Giving up the beer is also probably the right thing to do. Before my current diet I used to drink way too much, beer and whiskey were my problems. I also ate way too much. Giving up 90+% of the booze has really helped me.

Keep on posting, I am looking forward to reading about your progress!
 

Trusylver

Powerlifting Coach
Staff member
Welcome to the forum.

As a parent of 3 adult ASD sons with ADHD I can certainly understand the issues you are having with not only food selection but also appetite.

Starting a diary in the diary section as has been suggested is a good next step, in addition to your plan to log your daily foods, a list of your safe foods would be helpful. After working out what you can eat then members here can help work out the best way to "meal prep" those foods so you have something on hand that can be eaten when your appetite allows.
 

Floater

Well-known member
Hi Floater and welcome to the forum! Sounds to me like you know your strengths and weaknesses and have your priorities in order. I 100% agree that fed is best, even if it's not the perfect fuel for your body. Being honest with yourself is going to serve you better than chasing unrealistic (for now) goals.

Thank you! :)

Hey Floater welcome! And I agree a first good step would be keeping a diary of what you do eat. Giving up the beer is also probably the right thing to do. Before my current diet I used to drink way too much, beer and whiskey were my problems. I also ate way too much. Giving up 90+% of the booze has really helped me.

Keep on posting, I am looking forward to reading about your progress!

Thank you so much!

I'm lucky to have autism coaching/assistance 5 hours per week, and I mentioned about this diary project to my coach. She suggested that I could make a list of foods I find safe and easy to eat, so that's what I'm going to do.

My two main issues that trigger unhealthy eating behaviors are food aversions and executive function issues. Both get worse with anxiety, and low blood sugar/restricting/procrastinating with eating make my anxiety worse, so it's important to not get into this cycle in the first place. Aversions and executive function issues have a slightly different "logic" behind them. I feel the least aversions about foods that are simple, recognizable, easy to eat by hand or a spoon and have a simple texture; for example, fresh bell pepper dipped in hummus, or dry bread with guacamole/avocado on top. I will call such foods "green foods", as they are "safe" when it comes to aversions and also decently healthy. The issue of these foods is often that they require a decent amount of focus to make (for example, boiling an egg is easy but if it cracks during boiling or turns out overcooked/undercooked, I have wasted the energy that cooking took for something I can't force myself to eat), so when I'm in a situation where my executive function is extremely low, even chopping up a bell pepper can be too much. They also tend to be not very high in energy, and running on fumes makes my executive function worse, so I need a list of energy-rich and/or minimum effort foods as well; I'll call them "orange foods". Eating orange foods increases the likelihood of me being able to eat green foods later in the day, so that's important to consider.

A tentative list just to get started:

Green foods:
Hummus + raw veg
Guacamole + raw veg
Roasted chickpeas
Pasta with spinach and parmesan
Avocado pasta
Chicken or mock chicken with corn and edamame
Boiled eggs
Fried eggs
Raw tofu dipped in soy sauce

Orange foods:
Protein shakes
Tuna in oil
Nuts (preferably unsalted)
Cheese sandwiches (rye bread)
Baby food
Tomato juice
Babybel cheeses
Chicken leg (premade)
Instant porridge with peanut butter and jam
Getting takeout
Getting frozen pizza

Hmm, I should really get a rice cooker... The old one was worn out and I threw it out, but rice is easy on my stomach, and can be eaten cold wrapped in seaweed, and making it in a pot just never gets it right. Well, I'm currently not working so money's tight, but just by cutting off beer for now (or doing my best to cut it off - black and white thinking gets me to spiral easily) is going to save me quite a lot of money. Oh - I should mention that I didn't drink at all between the end of July and early December, and I have had long periods of not drinking at all or drinking in moderation, so that one is definitely doable. Maybe I could use the rice cooker as a motivator - in my experience, "wanting to slim down" or "be healthier" are too abstract to work well as goals when it's a battle between short term pleasure and long term reward.

I'll go make myself a cup of tea and some porridge with PB and fig jam now, and come back later to post what I ate today. Just wanted to get the green foods/orange foods system in place; if it works well, I might make a physical version of it and of course expand on it. But knowing myself, getting started is key. And I'm really happy about being so warmly welcomed here. <3
 

Floater

Well-known member
Welcome to the forum.

As a parent of 3 adult ASD sons with ADHD I can certainly understand the issues you are having with not only food selection but also appetite.

Starting a diary in the diary section as has been suggested is a good next step, in addition to your plan to log your daily foods, a list of your safe foods would be helpful. After working out what you can eat then members here can help work out the best way to "meal prep" those foods so you have something on hand that can be eaten when your appetite allows.

Haha, we cross-posted here a bit! Thank you. Looks like great minds think alike :)
 

overlandflyer

Well-known member
For example; my morning started with a black coffee and a handful of scraps off a roasted chicken, and for lunch I had one 500ml can of lager and a cheese pizza. On a weight loss forum it's a total joke,
that's so funny... if you exclude the beer, that's nearly what i ate yesterday... it was some leftover chicken drumsticks & pepperoni/ mushroom pizza, 2 lg slices... that was sadly my major meal of the day. i wouldn't call it a regular occurrence, ... i was running around town doing some chores yesterday... no time for much cooking.
 

LaMaria

Well-known member
That's actually not a bad list! Even the orange foods are pretty good if you ask me. Where I live buying eggs already boiled costs no more than buying them raw so that's what I usually do (to have something to easily get my protein up). And currently my favorite snack is 2 yellow popcorn cakes with half a smushed-out-thin babybell cheese, some sriracha, and a leaf of lettuce on each. Is it perfect? Nope. Does it do what I need it to do? Yes. And to me it's delicious.
 

Floater

Well-known member
That's actually not a bad list! Even the orange foods are pretty good if you ask me. Where I live buying eggs already boiled costs no more than buying them raw so that's what I usually do (to have something to easily get my protein up). And currently my favorite snack is 2 yellow popcorn cakes with half a smushed-out-thin babybell cheese, some sriracha, and a leaf of lettuce on each. Is it perfect? Nope. Does it do what I need it to do? Yes. And to me it's delicious.

Ohh, popcorn cakes are great, thanks for reminding me of those. I need to get them, I love crunchy foods. The combination of babybel., sriracha and lettuce sounds nice too. I wish I could get perfect pre-boiled eggs, but over here they are usually only found in salad bars. And yeah, the orange list is not for like "bad" foods, rather for easy energy/fuel. I try not to go to black and white thinking because I know it can trigger me a lot. One thing that I like a lot, and that's both relatively healthy and takes no effort at all, is eating a can of dolma or marinated tapas-style beans. Luckily I have food delivery planned for Wednesday and I have several cans of both in my cart.

that's so funny... if you exclude the beer, that's nearly what i ate yesterday... it was some leftover chicken drumsticks & pepperoni/ mushroom pizza, 2 lg slices... that was sadly my major meal of the day. i wouldn't call it a regular occurrence, ... i was running around town doing some chores yesterday... no time for much cooking.

Yeah, I think it's really important to remember that sometimes it's fine to just fuel up to get through the day, and then balance it out on the next day and not get too hung up on not being "perfect" all the time... Glad to hear you had a productive day chores-wise, that's also important!
 

Floater

Well-known member
Breakfast: 0,5 dl of roast chicken scraps and black coffee
Lunch: Cheese pizza + 500 ml of lager
Snack: instant oatmeal with PB and fig jam, Oolong tea
Dinner: 400g of roasted asparagus with two Karelian pies with roast chicken scraps and parmesan
Snack: 500 ml of IPA

Summary:
tomorrow I´m not going to drink any beer, but at least I can't be tempted with none lying around, and the fact that I got some calories into myself five times today is honestly an achievement by itself. I also managed to buy xylithol tabs, which is good, because my acid reflux is so bad that my teeth feel like they are about to melt... If I'll eat later tonight, I'll just write it down as part of tomorrow's food diary, but I'm feeling pretty full as is, so I doubt that's going to happen. I'm very pleased that I ate the asparagus, I love them but haven't had the executive function (EF) to prepare them, and my veg intake only missed the recommended minimum of 500g by 100g which is great compared to what I've eaten lately.
 

Floater

Well-known member
Dinner sounds delicious and I don't even know what's in Karelian pies :D Are you Finnish?

I am indeed! Great guess/observation :D ! Karelian pies are basically rice porridge filling in a thin rye crust, about the size of a palm and roughly oval shaped. Really good just eaten cold by themselves, or qarmed up with a bit of marg or oil, or fully loaded with whatever as I did today.

As you can see, I couldn't just stay out of here for the night. I'm too excited to find that if I eat, I actually do experience hunger signals. I just had a small bowl of pasta with one egg and a spoonful of parm, shredded mozzarella and garlic (it wasn't very good, but carbs help me sleep). I also had a pear which had been sitting on my countertop for a while, and that also put me at 500+ grams of veg and fruit per day. Yay! As I previously planned, I'll write it down as part of tomorrow's food diary; in the future it's likely that I'll go to sleep soon after eating the bedtime snack, and I don't want to have to stress out about reporting those "on the day of".

Time to take the dog out for a walk and then get some sleep.
 

LaMaria

Well-known member
Karelian pies are basically rice porridge filling in a thin rye crust, about the size of a palm and roughly oval shaped.
I think I had one 20 years ago when I visited your country. Funny texture but very nice! I have fond memories of swimming in some of the lakes at sunset - late at night :)
As I previously planned, I'll write it down as part of tomorrow's food diary; in the future it's likely that I'll go to sleep soon after eating the bedtime snack, and I don't want to have to stress out about reporting those "on the day of".
Sounds sensible. Anything to make the right thing to do the easy thing to do.
 

Floater

Well-known member
It just occurred to me that it's actually smart to start the daily diary at the previous evening, because this way I can include how I slept into it.

Bedtime snack: a small bowl of pasta with egg and cheese + a pear.
Slept OK, woke up once to a nightmare, took an antihistamine, slept until noon (whoops)
Breakfast/Lunch: pasta, shredded chicken and cheese, black coffee.
Snack: two sliced apples with PB and a protein shake, oolong tea.
Snack: instant oatmeal with PB and jam, 1 dl of shredded chicken.
Dinner: a big serving of roasted beetroots and chickpeas.

Summary:
I don't personally mind that I didn't have a separate breakfast and lunch. I hate eating right after waking up and if I do, it's usually something calorically meaningless just to prevent the GI issues I get from taking my ADHD meds in an empty stomach. Speaking of which, eating more frequently lessens the side effects of the meds, which is very motivating. Veg and fruit-wise things are looking good today, especially as whole beans and legumes count as well. I haven't been very motivated to eat but managed to do it still. I'll probably have some rye bread and a fried egg for a bedtime snack, but we'll see.

Tomorrow's a stressful day. I get my disability benefits, but that also means I have to pay all my bills and rent, and that takes quite a lot of focus - and eats up most of the money I get, of course. Money is a constant source of concern for me, so I'm expecting not to sleep too well. If I'm still up past midnight when the benefits hit my bank account, I might pre-order some takeout for lunch so I can eat, take my pills and then pay all the bills immediately. My grocery delivery doesn't arrive until later in the afternoon, and if I'm really anxious it might be difficult for me to eat oatmeal and other stuff I still have left in my cupboards, but we'll see. (I have noticed that planning ahead is key, which is why I go over the different possibilities beforehand!)

And yeah, while my diet today has been looking quite good, it should be noted that I eat slow as heck. Especially when eating sour stuff like apples it feels like my teeth are melting. I do have some dental erosion but not really to the point where this should be an issue, so it's a sensory issue related to my ASD. (The issue also goes away if I have taken sedatives, like benzodiazepines.) It took me half an hour to eat the apple slices, and I'm not even exaggerating. I enjoyed them, that wasn't the issue, I just had to eat them carefully. I know that when it comes to diets and weight loss, people are usually instructed to focus on eating and not watch TV at the same time, but for me movies or Youtube are a great distraction from the displeasure of chewing and swallowing. Sometimes when I'm extremely anxious, I get something I can eat while I'm walking, because the sensory input from walking helps me drown the displeasurable sensations.

Well, that was a ramble, but I write these things down to understand them better.

Take care, everyone! :)
 

LaMaria

Well-known member
Great to hear that the healthy thing for you (eating more frequently) also helps dull the side-effects of your meds. That´s the kind of direct feedback motivation is made of. When my teeth are particularly sensitive I fry my apples for a minute or so (in a dry frying pan) to make them easier to eat - especially good with a dusting of cinnamon - but of course that would depend of whether or not you have the (mental) spoons to do any cooking.
Well, that was a ramble, but I write these things down to understand them better.
That´s what I used to do when I felt close to a binge and it often helped. Just putting the words down in writing forces you to sort and analyze them.
 

Floater

Well-known member
When my teeth are particularly sensitive I fry my apples for a minute or so (in a dry frying pan) to make them easier to eat - especially good with a dusting of cinnamon - but of course that would depend of whether or not you have the (mental) spoons to do any cooking.

That's a great suggestion, thank you! :)

I had a bit of a bad moment mentally when I took a look at my body in front of a full mirror. I don't really want to write down what I saw, because I'm pretty sure it had a lot to do with dysmorphia, and I don't want to go into restricting mode again because that'll just lead to the need to re-feed even if I somehow didn't relapse into bingeing. After last summer it took me months to feel somewhat normal in my body, and I feel so disheartened when I think about what it does to my skin to yo yo - especially when I have a congenitally brittle skin as is. And as always, focusing on how "ugly" I look just makes me want to escape the feeling into a binge of junk food and beer - or, which is even worse, just beer and no food. Like, not right now it doesn't, because I have done my best to stay in an OK place mentally. But I really have to stop focusing on how I look because it just feeds my dysmorphia.

Another interesting thing about dysmorphia is that it actually changes how I look, because when I'm stressed out, I get extremely bloated and swollen. It was such an aha moment for me to learn while in therapy that there's an actual explanation for this: stress affects the autonomous nervous system by switching on the sympathetic NS and switching off the parasympathetic NS which is responsible for digestion among other things. So the more intensely I hate my body, the less it looks and feels like I want it to.

Then there's obviously also the question of being happy as who you are. I would never judge other people as harshly as myself. Everyone has things they feel insecure about. And looks aren't everything. But it's important to get these thoughts out too, because I'm so tired of living in a cycle of unrealistic control and inevitable relapses. Because when you think about it, even the relapse phase isn't a "bad" thing, it's just our poor bodies going into panic mode and trying to save us from starvation. And if I've learned something, it's just no one can override the body's needs forever and the longer we try to, the harder the consequences...
 

Floater

Well-known member
Reminder to self: when self-hatred arises, eat something. I went over what I had eaten today and realized it really wasn't a lot, so I had a rye bread with two fried eggs and parm, as well as a pear. And if I feel like I need to eat more later, I will do that. Because tomorrow is going to be a stressful day, and I absolutely need to be functional so I can pay the bills. I already took two more rye breads out to thaw so I have either a snack or breakfast option readily available if needed.
 

LaMaria

Well-known member
But I really have to stop focusing on how I look because it just feeds my dysmorphia.
It sounds like you're doing well learning what you need and working on making things easier for yourself. That's awesome! I'm not going to quote everything I specifically liked from that post because it was basically the whole thing :)
 

Floater

Well-known member
Woke up, made coffee and immediately paid my bills and what I owed to a friend, still have the rent and another small loan from another friend to pay back but I'm going to take a break now, make some oatmeal and take my pills, take the dog out and then take care of the last payments.

I had a BAD night. It took me until 3AM to fall asleep, high anxiety, and trauma flashbacks. I had two more rye bread sandwiches with cheese and chick peas around 2AM and they finally helped me wind down a bit. I'm constantly surprised how much I physically have to eat when I don't get the energy from liquid sources. It feels so much, but when I do a quick eyeball summary of the macros and energy of what I've consumed, it's not that much really, especially when I'm not trying to actively lose weight now, but rather stabilize my digestion and metabolism.
 

LaMaria

Well-known member
I'm constantly surprised how much I physically have to eat when I don't get the energy from liquid sources.
It´s no surprise that people tend to gain weight easily from liquid calories, is it? Of course it also means you could easily and quite healthily supplement your calories with an unsweetened milkshake (milk + banana + whatever fruit you like, plus immersion blender) if you´re low on calories.
 
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