I am so excited to share this guest post blog series with you!! Courtney Buckley is a Behavior Analyst with a great personal story to share here as well as 2 follow up blog posts:
Let’s jump right in!!
I am Courtney. In my day job I am a behavior analyst. I help people change their behavior through scientifically proven techniques, individually tailored to each person and their environment. In my personal life, I am just like you and many others out there. I struggle to maintain a healthy lifestyle that supports the personal views I have as well as accommodating the dietary restrictions that I have discovered I need to practice.
In 2008 I started having severe stomach pain. This was a curl up in a ball and cry after dinner kind of pain. A don’t walk or move unless it is towards the bathroom kind of pain. I went through many rounds of tests with my doctor, but what ended up helping me most was an elimination diet. Through systematically eliminating different foods, I found out that unnatural fats such as deep fried foods (not healthy fats from avocados or nuts) caused me all of this pain and that I could not digest fats.
I embarked on a mostly fat free diet, uneducated, and unsupported. And then I turned into a bulimic.
I didn’t realize that not having fat meant not being full. I didn’t realize that there were different types of fats, and my doctor didn’t really educate me about this fact. So I ate, and I ate, and I ate fat free foods and felt really horrible. I felt horrible about myself, about my situation, and about … almost everything. I had gained 10 lbs and had started running again. But while exercising I was even more insatiable. I was just a raging mess.
With the bad fats removed the pain disappeared for a while, but when the pain came back it was different this time. It was kind of in the same place, but obviously not triggered by the same foods. And I was having MAJOR cravings.
Back to my computer to research and the evidence pointed to sugar. It is an addictive substance, has withdrawal like symptoms, and could cause massive cravings. So I set out to eliminate sugar, which turns out to be much harder than eliminating fat (if you ask me).
After removing sugar all of the pain was gone. I had peeled back another layer and was discovering how my body responds to different food. Although it took 2 years of misery and research I have found a happy balance.
Conveniently, all through my food struggles I received my masters Degree in Applied Behavior Analysis. I have been able to systematically apply some of the tools of my profession to my life. And I would like to share them with you.
Continue reading the series below: