First, love the name and thank you for the sincere question, So many others can relate! Congratulations on the walks with your pup, you are both so lucky to have a special connection and a consistent walk plan.

Let’s not even address whether you are experiencing an eating disorder or disordered eating. Typically the distinction of the two is whether the shift in eating patterns can be enhanced with an increase of education, hence disordered eating. If someone has an absorbent amount of knowledge, feels like they have tried everything, have difficulties regulating emotions around this topic, and feel pre-occupied around food, their weight, or eating that it keeps them disengaged or unable to be active in their life, then there is the tendency toward eating disorder.

I am thinking being consistent with your pup did not happen overnight. I have dogs, it takes work and effort. I am sure as your efforts increased little by little together to create the constant now. Let’s create a bridge moving towards fueling your mind and fueling your body, but we don’t have to re-invent the wheel. I propose we increase water consumption by one glass a day and begin with eating breakfast. Do the rest of your day just as you have, but be committed to eating in the beginning of your day. You can eat dinner for breakfast, just eat something! Starting the day with food will stabilize blood sugar levels physically and emotionally start consistent habits. Most often eating mass amounts of food or binging (feeling like the Tasmanian Devil with your head spinning) is occurring because mind and body are not satiated- YOU ARE HUNGRY!

I wish I had a dollar for every time I hear “I tried to not eat”, “I cut the carbs”, “make my portions smaller” or “I overate or binged“. Basically, they set themselves up for failure by not being satiated. As you described, you go all day and don’t eat, and then BAM!

If you mess up anywhere along the day with your meals… pick it up right there. When we feel we have failed we vow how we will change the world tomorrow. Start right in that moment. Drink a glass of water and keep going. Just keep on swimming!

Let me throw out a few alternative suggestions to increase the bridge and optimize energy, lock in consistant eating patterns, and kick food pre-occupation to the curb.

I am only looking for 1 or 2 of the below to stick or feel like it might fit.

Think like I am offering you an assortment of new shirts. See which one you would like to try on and if it is something you would wear. It does not have to be the last shirt you ever buy or the only one you wear. Just a new shirt to try out…

* Eat foods that are not in a package, box, bag, or any sort of sealed container. Eat from the ground, off the tree, fly in the air, or swim in the sea. REAL FOOD!

* Pre-plan your meals for the day- doing it with a friend can be much more fun too!

* Before shoveling down deep dish pizza, ask yourself “would it be good to have eaten?” Would fresh fruits, vegetables, dairy, lean proteins, and good sources of fat and starch “be good to have eaten”?

* Eat every four to five hours during your wake time to keep blood sugars stabilized and your sanity level!

* Drink lots of water throughout the day- 8 cups of 8 ounces.

* Eat your food on a plate while SITTING DOWN!

* Eat a variety of foods- boring foods=boring meals=no eating=potential overeating=NO BUENO!

Look forward to hearing back from you how your bridge is giving you some SANITY around “the food” topic!

Making shiFt happen,

Dr. Dara

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