For me, therapy has been a great help. Picking is, in my oppinion, not an isolated issue but an expression of something else. The kind of violent picking you describe, as well as talking about what you do as disgusting is what makes me believe that you have lots of agression towards yourself which comes out in form of picking your skin.
I mean, it is indeed helpful to limit the expression of the angst (for example, trying not to do it, stopping yourself, wearing gloves) but the core of the issue is unlikely to go away with its manifestation. Again, in my experience (you can read my log to follow my progress from Nov 2011 til now) I was quite able to stop the picking, but before therapy it was still the thing that kept my mind busy at all times - how do I look, will anyone notice, is my skin improving, is this new cream doing anything for me etc. etc. Talking to a pro talker (in my case, a psychotherapist) about it helped me get to the core issue and now the manifestation (picking) is not as much of an obsession. I'm getting to know the reasons and dealing with the hate/agression/angst that lies beneath picking, which makes it all a lot less about picking and more about living a compassionate, open, loving life in relation to myself and my body.
First step: stop doing it. Keep a log here, write about it, notice your own patterns and try outsmarting yourself. Second: Find therapist. Go talk. Be brutally honest and let yourself go Third: For healing the wounds I highly recommend Mario Badescu's Healing Cream. There's also a scar healing cream called Cicatrix. These helped med a lot because the less scabs i have the less i would pick.
Best of luck to you! If you want to read my log there's a link just at the bottom of this message.
don't smack yourself, ok Be nice. It's hard enough doing this without being angry with ourselves when we mess up (and I'm writing this aimed at myself as much as you). Because we WILL mess up. We WILL fall of that proverbial waggon, but the important thing is to let that next kliché of "getting back into the saddle" come and pick us right up. This isn't like turning a corner and never look back. I'm counting on having to actively work on healing this (the obsession, not the zits) for years and years, because it took me years and years to get to the point in November when I started my healing. A bit over two months down the road and I still think this is the hardest thing I've ever done, but te REWARDS are huge. The days when i manage to go through my evening cleansing ritual without diving into the mirror feel like flowers and fairies and honey - so freakin good. then there are other nights, but they get further apart. And suddenly one day you forget to pick, because happy things have taken that place in your mind. And that feeling is unbelievably good. Keep going, we're in this together, all of us!
I have to add DR BACH'S FLOWER REMEDIES (i'm not affiliated with these, I don't sell them or make any money from talking about them. I just think they're awesome) to the list of otc anti-anxiety things. They've helped me through my most stressful times, and are great for every-day use. I'm not a pro on this, so if you're interested i suggest you look it up on google cos there are lots of great sites that explain it more thouroughly (like http://www.healingherbs.co.uk/remedies/, but these are the basics:
There are 38 remedies split into three sections; the 12 Healers, the 7 Helpers and the Second 19
Out of these you choose up to 5 remedies, preferably one of the healers, 1-2 of the helpers and 1-2 of the 2nd 19.
The Five Flower Remedy (sometimes known as the Rescue Remedy) is the most famous one that helps with strong anxiety, shock, emotional distress and the like.
You base your choice of remedies by identifying what types of emotions you want to deal with. Emotions and mental states are split into 7 groups. For me, Crab Apple (one of the 2nd 19, emotional grop Despondecy or Despair) helps me a lot, since my anxious picking is usually a result of feeling unclean, messy, not put together, dirty and very disturbed by all this.
This isn't for everyone, since it's a herbal remedy, not "scientifically proven" or any of that. All I know is that this works for me, I notice the difference and have used these for years.
Breakfast: Oatmeal with peanut butter
Lunch: roasted broccoli and brussel sprouts with coconut flakes
Snack 1: Strawberry-spirulina smoothie and chocolate energy bar
Snack 2: piece of bread w cheese
Very late dinner: Kale soup and small salad
Toast w cheese and tomato for breakfast
Big fruit smoothie w a little spinach and avocado on toast for lunch
Sweet potato stew w brussel sprouts, mushrooms and peas for dinner
Dried figs and nut butter for a snack
The mighty banana!! For me 1 or 2 (organic, Fair Trade) bananas is the base of every smoothie. Then a couple of handfuls of greens, and more fruit. Bluberries are awesome, esp. w banana. Banana Banana Banana. I had a friend who used to call me banana, cos I ate so many of them.
The meat of young coconuts (NOT the dry, brown, hairy kind) makes things thicker.
You want to load up on the fruit to make it taste great and become thick to your liking. I enjoy a thin smoothie, so I add quite a lot of water to mine. Generally I think a good smoothie starts with lots of fruit blended really thick, then add in the greens w a bit of water, blend until smooth, and then add more water until desired consistency. Note: some less powerful blenders needs liquid to blend the fruit in the first place, but just experiment and you'll find a way that suits your blender.
If you want diet to be your cure you have to try and err until you find the diet that cures YOU.
Ofcourse there are "easier" options, medications and the like, that might give you terrible side effects and mess with your inner organs. Diet might take loger to figure out, it might seem like an endless road, but if you (like me and a lot of people on here, and as you say, elsewhere online) believe that diet is the cure you just have to find the right diet for you.
Well the fish I had yesterday gave me some kind of massive allergic reaction (and i know it was the fish, cos I haven't had white fish in maybe 10 years), i was up all night with intense pain in my stomach, feeling dizzy and as if my blood preassure was waaaaay low. Talked to my roomie and she said her ex had had the exact same reaction to white fish: she'd have salmon with no problems, but white fish (ha ha, accidently wrote "shite fish" first. freudian slipperys...) made her really ill. Sio no more white fish for me, ever ever ever.
So today i had really random stuff, cos my stomach still feels upset and unhappy:
- probiotic, lactose-free yoghurt
- a meal-replacer energy bar (cos i don't feel like having proper food)
- piece of bread w cucumber and mild cheese
Breakfast was: an apple, in class. (i overslept)
Lunch: cafeteria brie sandwich (i knooooooow. overslept means i missed making a lunchbox). Rawfood blueberry bar.
Snack: 2 apples
Second snack: dried figs, almonds and walnuts in abundance.
Dinner: baked veg (sweet potatoes, fennel, purple cabbage, broccoli) with some kind of white fish and miso-lemon sauce.
i was a vegan for many years. Never had any specific eating disorder, but I can say I've had a pretty neurotic relationship to food/apetite/body in the past. I think it's really cool that you're so open and honest about your experiences and determinition to change. Regardless of how "well" you do or how many kilos or centimeters or numbers you gain or eat or whatnot, talking about what's troubling you is definitly the way to go. So be really kind to yourself and try treating yourself like a really good, close friend because talking openly about hard stuff like this is no picnic. You're totally awesome.
As for eating tips I'd say eat whatever appeals to you. At the point you're at my very humble opinion is that before you start restricting this or having more of that to cure acne, you should try to make friends with your apetite. I believe it is more important for someone with a troubled relationship to food to find a connection to that apetite. A book that helped me enormously in dealing with my own food neurosis is Fat is a Feminist Issue 1 and 2 by Susie Orbach. And just because the title is a bit bold, it's not a manifesto or boringly political, it's a self-help book originally aimed towards women with troubles with bulimia/binge eating,but in my op it can be very helpful for anyone with a neurotic relationship to food and her body.The first edition has more background and the second more of an outlined program. I got both in one paperback, it should be avaliable at any bigger bookstore.
Also, as you mentioned in your first post, the amount of foods you consume today is probably not nearly enough to both keep you going AND heal acne, so just finding a way to feed youself more will probably be helpful in taking care of healing.
Ok, I have one eating tip: smoothies. Get a jar of nut butter and make a smoothie from bananas, almond milk, a couple of tablespoons of nut butter and some agave nectar and you have yourself some protein disguised in a sweet drink. I get terrible tummy aches from anything soy, so I wouldn't recommend that, but seitan is a good alternative. Lots of protein and fairly cheap. Leafy greens have loads of nutrion, so those are definitly good for anything from cooking/steaming to salads to smoothies.
Just keep going. I've heard meditation helps a lot when dealing with EDs, that might be somehting. It will get better because you can make that happen.
EDIT: bummer, just read that you're gluten free. Quinoa and amaranth are gluten free and have quite a bit of protein. Tempeh and miso are both cultured soy products, there's also somehting called Natto that's supposed to have lots of vegan protein but I've never had it. Try googling "xgfx" for some cool vegan, gluten free blogs.
This is fun! (or, more like: this is a fun way to put off reading an extremley boring book on social research methodology)
Breakfast: Rice crackers w mashed pumpkin, 1 1/2 boiled eggs, oats w soy milk
Lunch: Mango-raspberry-ginger-spinach smoothie, a pear, about 15 baby carrots and a piece of bread
Afternoon snacking: 3 bananas, 2 apples
Dinner: Shrimp cooked in garlic, cassava, a piece of spanish tortilla, some avocado and a slice of watermelon (my roomie made cuban food for dinner for her friends and I couldn't say no when she asked if i'd join in... Cassava was really good, never had that before)
Went to the supermarket today and got lots of arugula, sweet potatoes, apples, broccoli, salmon and some other white fish, kiwis, cucumber... tomorrow lunch will be goooood
I have been reading this whole thread, and I must say I feel so INSPIRED!
All my life I've been interested in experementing with what I eat, mostly tried all sorts of "health food" types of diets - vegetarian, vegan, Raw food vegan for a few months and so on, trying to find foods that "fit" my body. I've never had any weight- or major health issues, aside from acne (which may or may not be a big problem, I've been picking for ages so I'm not really sure how bad it is "au naturel". That's why I'm on here, to keep a no-more-picking journal)
The past months I've had MASSIVE cravings for a couple of foods: winter squash/pumpkin, sweet potatoes, kale, spinach, arugula (rocket), dates, anything with coconut, pears, fish and quinoa. I always think it's interesting to look further into how cravings are interconnected with healing and how our bodies communicate to us, so I was happy to see that a few of my craving-foods were amongst what you recommend.
Reading all your posts, Moonbase, makes me really interested in making some further changes in my diet. When I was on raw foods I got into this very intuitive state with food, where I got really good signals about what felt right for me and not. Fresh fruits and green juices felt like my best friends. I want more greens and more fruit! and more fish!
To me, fruits + greens + fish + tubers makes perfect sense. I can feel my body relax and get happy just thinking about focusing my diet around those things. I think I'll make some changes, cut back on oils and fat in general and up the fish and greens intake. Quinoa and oats are beloved parts of my diet, even though I can understand how they might be harmful.
On a regular day I'll have
Breakfast: Apple juice with 1 tsp spirulina and 1 tsp acai powder. Cooked oatmeal with 2-3 pieces of fruit and soy milk, a cooked egg or rice crackers with nut butter/fruit
Snack: 2 pieces fresh fruit, or dried figs and almonds
Lunch: Cooked quinoa, kale, baked butternut squash, tofu or beans. Salad of arugula, apple and cucumber.
Snack: Useualy "brownie": dates, walnuts, cacao, vanilla bean, grated coconut in food processor.
Dinner: Depends, sometimes veg soup, sometimes like lunch, sometimes just different things: fruit, rice crackers, leftovers, nuts.
(ofcourse, this is different every day, but a general idea of my preferences)
I drink only herbal teas (and lots of water, ofcourse), and supplement Vit D, B complex and one with Iron+minerals. And a probiotic.
I'm really looking forward to reading your lists and recommendations and tweaking my diet to match it better Keep up the great work, we all need food for thought and challenging ideas to break old habits and find new paths to health and happiness.
Talking to people, especially my family.
Cooking - my biggest hobby, i spend a lot of time in the kitchen. Right now I'm obsessed with kale and sweet potatoes.
Blogs - apart from cooking I spend waaaay too much time online reading blogs about food, cooking and baking.
And when the world's just plain misery and nothing seems to help, I turn to Nigella. Watching a few episodes of that show just makes me calm and happy, for some reason I always feel better after an hour with Nigella.