This post is my trip to the confessional, and you, my readers, are the priest. Before my weight loss, I had a huge problem with bingeing. HUGE. My days were planned out by what I was going to eat, and my daily goal was to consume the food I was craving by any legal means. In comparison to the other high achievers in my life, my goals were by no means lofty or important, and they certainly weren’t creating any positive changes in my world or anyone else’s.
Hiding cans of Pringles and bags of Maple Nut Goodies, making trips to Taco Bell or Chik-Fil-A, and making enormous carb-laden meals that were destined to yield bingeing leftovers, were all features in my daily routine. Top my busy schedule off with a “healthy” dose of inactivity, and it’s easy to see how I topped the scales at 223 pounds.
I’ve made a plethora of positive changes in my life over these past seven months and I’ve come clean with my counselor, and family, about my secret food binges. I’ve come to recognize that my feeding frenzies were fueled by anxiety, something that I’ve lived with most of my life, and something that I’m finally learning to manage.
I know that food is my drug of choice, and like every addict on Earth, I am not impervious to “falling off the wagon.” Because of this, I’ve created a set of guidelines to keep myself safe.
- Keep only healthy foods in the house
- Shun all fast food establishments
- Substitute cravings with crafting, blogging, exercising, and doing activities with family and friends.
- Keep my anxiety from getting the best of me through seeing my counselor, as needed, taking my medicine, and talking to trusted family and friends.
- Go no more than two days in a row without exercising.
- Hold myself accountable to family, friends, my doctor, and counselor if I fall back into old habits and overindulge.
99.9% of the time I follow my rules and the 70 pounds I’ve lost is my proof that it works. However, a few times, I have broken my guidelines. This weekend is a prime example. I had a big birthday party for my younger daughter on Friday. Even though she suggested all healthy food items; Chicken Satay, fresh veggie and fruit trays, cheese, olives, popcorn, and flavored unsweetened seltzers, I went a little crazy. I mean, you can’t have a birthday without cake, and popcorn isn’t that exciting of a salty snack, and what’s a party without some sort of fruity drink? By the time guests arrived there was an enormous tray of cupcakes with multi-colored frosting and sprinkles, bowls of honey roasted chipotle nuts, gummy bears, guacamole and chips, and a big vat of homemade sparkling strawberry lemon/limeade filled with fruit and plenty of sugar. These extras were in addition to my daughter’s original requests.
I had vowed to eat only the healthy offerings, and I started out doing pretty well. I even avoided the delicious homemade peanut sauce that went with the chicken. Then, I made the decision to pop just one lemony yellow gummy bear into my mouth, my first sugar in months. I wanted it to be too sweet so I’d hate it, but it wasn’t. It was magically delicious. Soon, that damn gummy bear was like a psychedelic Grateful Dead Bear swirling me into the land of gluttony. I ate a chipotle peanut; then I ate ten. I grabbed a tortilla and scooped up a mound of guacamole. I filled a 16 oz. cup to the brim with icy lemon/limeade and gulped the sugary liquid down as fast as my throat muscles would allow. Before long, I was undressing a cupcake with lovely teal frosting and shoving it into my mouth like Honey Boo Boo at a pie eating contest. By the end of the evening, I’d consumed three cupcakes, a handful of nuts and gummy bears, several servings of guac and chips, and another glass of punch. I went to bed Friday night vowing that I’d hit the gym first thing in the morning.
Saturday morning, I was exhausted. My head and joints ached and my stomach was killing me. I felt far too bad to go to the gym, and spent the first part of my day parked in front of my laptop. I attempted to eat healthy and began my day with a bowl of high fiber cereal topped with fresh blueberries and almond milk. However, an hour after I ate, I began craving the leftover treats from the day before. I began working on my glass crafting and tried to ignore the bag of gummy “gateway drug” bears tucked away in the pantry. I drank water, made a shake for lunch and popped some Tylenol for my headache and drank more water. I retreated to the patio to cut glass rings from bottles with acetone, string, fire and water. This was not a successful venture and I ended up feeding broken glass to the recycling bin and then feeding myself another cupcake. This led to a whole new binge and by the end of the evening, I’d messed up my eating plan, again.
Confession is good for the body and soul, and today is a new day. I’ve had a healthy breakfast, drank a bunch of water, and am about to go put my workout clothes on to head to the gym once my daughter gets ready. During this journey, I’ve learned that messing up isn’t permanent. I can stay on track and hold myself accountable for my choices. I’ll probably always struggle with food, but I also have tools and guidelines that give me some measure of control over it. Today, I will:
- Drink plenty of water and plain green tea
- Eat healthy lean protein, veggies, and fruits
- Forgive myself for bingeing this weekend
- Feel proud of myself for being in control
- Enjoy the company of my family and friends
- Stay away from the scale (far, far away!)
Do you ever binge? How do you recover after a weekend of overeating?