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Food Frenzy

Oh, no!  It's confession time?  Yes, it was me who chewed through the bottom of the treat bag! I confess! (photo by me)
Oh, no! It’s confession time? Yes, it was me who chewed through the bottom of the treat bag! I confess! (photo by me)

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
  • Exercise
  • 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?



17 thoughts on “Food Frenzy”

  1. After I fall off of the wagon, I try not to overcompensate with being more strict than when the binge came on. I just back back on the bike, so to speak, and pretend that it never happened. If I focus too much on the mistake, then I’m prone to repeating it again. We move on.

  2. You can do this! Take all those leftovers and throw them in the garbage, then they can’t tempt you. Don’t beat yourself up, think of all the success you’ve had, you know how to live healthy and you can and you will get back on track.

    1. Thank you, Cynthia! That’s exactly what I plan to do! 🙂 I just can’t have tempting things in my house, which does make it difficult for my other family members.
      I seem to be having a binge about once a month, but that’s so much better than everyday. I’m also seeing that it’s not a time to give up, but to recover and get back on track. Thank you for your encouragement! 🙂

  3. I binge, you binge, I think we all binge at times, in one way or another. You ended this post with a WONDERFUL list. Also, I appreciate the helpful thoughts in the comments, from weight2lose2013 and Cynthia. Thanks for all of this!

    1. Thank you! I’m following that list to the letter today. The good news is, I don’t feel like indulging in a binge anytime soon. I’m still feeling worn out from the sugar I ate. ;( I really appreciate the wonderfully supportive comments from all of my blogging buddies, too and I feel very accountable to them. 🙂

  4. I remember it well, the secret eating, the bingeing, the resulting discomfort and self attack..oh boy, I don’t miss any of it! I never even have ‘just one’ nowadays, because it never stays at just one and the resulting upset just isn’t worth it. Nothing tastes that good!!
    I think the difference for you nowadays is that you know how to get past it; yes it’s happened, and you’re not alone, and now you can move on and put it behind you, like other people have said. Thank goodness for all those tools you have gained in the last 7 months 🙂

    1. I think I’m done with my “just one” times, too. My daughter and I both have been feeling the after effects of all of that sugar. It really makes you feel terrible when you’re not used to it. I’m much safer with all of my temptations out of the house and away from me.
      I’m certainly thankful that I’m able to see my way past a binge and have been drinking tons of water and green tea today to detox myself and feel better. I also just got back from the gym and plan to spend lots of time there this week! 🙂

  5. Fantastic. I’m so pleased you have not seen your weekend binge as the end of the road, it was a deviation and you are back on track.

    You are so right we are always going to struggle and some times we will yield but now we can see it for what it is and move on.

    Being honest with ourselves helps us do that.

    When I’ve had a binge I’ve done just what you’re doing, dusted myself off, hated myself a little but forgiven myself fast and gone back to the basics and felt the benefits of the crap I ate being washed from my system again. What’s more you now now that next time you can recover again and each time the binge gets smaller and the recovery get swifter.

    1. Great comment and advice. I feel like it’s likely to be a long time before a binge happens again. My stomach still isn’t right from it and I’m still detoxing. It’s back to the gym today after I’m finished with all of my errands!
      It’s funny, until this weight loss, I’d never figured out how to get past a binge. Now, I’m seeing that I can survive and move on. 🙂

      1. And that’s developing a healthy relationship with food, slim people binge now and again but they don’t let it destroy them, they feel a bit gluttonous and then they cut back to put right the damage, we need to think like slim people to get slim and stay there 😀 This is a huge step forward for you, not a set back 😀

  6. I’m catching up on more than a month of your posts – thankyou so much for writing this one! I can relate SO much to the gummy bear temptation and the eating that followed. Glad I’m not alone on that one. I am sitting on an unproud 104kg and so so wish I could make headway with my weightloss. Like you, food is my “drug of choice” and I have sadly put on 13kg since E was born. I vowed to myself I wouldn’t get over 100kg during the pregnancy and I got to 96kg (from 83kg, having lost 6kg in the first 5 months due to morning sickness/ exercise). The best I have gotten down to is 102.5kg in recent months- your post made me realise I need to be making permanent change if I want to have a huge and permanent weight reduction.

    1. Thank you for your kind words, Merryn (such a pretty name)! Your weight is very close to my starting weight and nearly to my highest weight of 230 lbs. Food addiction is very real and I denied having it for many years. In fact, I always prided myself on not having an addictive personality in a family where most of the males are alcoholics. Counseling helped me to realize that I used food as a way to combat my terrible anxiety. Now, I take medication for my anxiety and have learned healthy ways to cope with it that don’t involve food. In fact, I wouldn’t even consider myself an anxious person now in comparison to how I used to be.
      In spite of the joy that a new baby brings, they also bring a fair amount of stress, often due to lack of sleep. I know that when I got less sleep, I made up for my lack of energy by eating. I also gained after the birth of my second daughter (24 years ago).
      It’s great that you want to commit to making some permanent changes in your eating and lifestyle. I would suggest finding individual or group support if you’re able. I’ve lost weight in the past, but once the weight was gone, I didn’t consider the maintenance of my loss and I always gained it back. This time, checking in monthly with my doctor and attending a support group is really helping. I wish you a ton of luck in your pursuit. Feel free to contact me with questions or for advice. 🙂

      1. Thankyou so much for your lovely and thoughtful reply. I appreciate the time you took to write to me and I will definitely keep it in mind to ask your advice – I find that heaps more beneficial than asking people who have never really struggled.
        One thing that has been mega tough, is the denial I have been in. I have to look at photos to see just how much I have changed (for worse). When I look in the mirror I see I am a little overweight but I don’t appreciate how bad it is. I have forgotten what I looked like before, when I was 70klg – that was 14 years ago. I stacked on 10 kg in the 6 months following the wedding (lived far too close to the supermarket and it was a novelty to eat junk food without having parents to stop me!). The next 9 kilos crept on whilst I was at uni and in my first teaching job (I can definitely relate to eating when tired; when E was a newborn I would eat half a pack of Marie biscuits cos I was too tired/ couldn’t be bothered making a proper lunch).
        I think a support group is an excellent idea – I just have to have the courage to contact one; naming my weakness is so hard, but I’m guessing, if I don’t admit it out loud, I will never address it properly.
        I usually last about 1-2 days of healthy eating at best, then spiral into worse eating than ever. I know this is like dieting, but I don’t know how to get consistent. I am seeing the dr for something on Tuesday with my son, so perhaps I can ask him about his opinion re check-ins – one thing that motivates me is “the need to please”, so that could help me till I get stronger to be motivated independently. Each time I have risen up with hope and determination, hormones or something has had a part in causing me to overeat. Boredom, anger, anxiety, tiredness, other people around me eating poorly… Thanks again for your support and I am glad to have people like you to encourage me on my journey.

      2. You’re very welcome. I think speaking with your doc is a wonderful idea. I’ve always had that “need to please,” too, but my focus was always on pleasing others. Now, I find that it’s crucial to my own well-being to make the tie and effort to please myself, by being healthy. That means taking the time to make a proper meal to feed my one and only body and taking a break from helping others to help myself by exercising. I used to feel very guilty taking time for myself and now, I realize the importance of it. Don’t wait until you’re my age to realize that it’s perfectly healthy to look out for you. Really, when you care for yourself you’re extending your life and making yourself more available to your family in the long run. Have a great rest of your day! 🙂

      3. I have been thinking a bit about my lifespan lately and the long-term effect of poor eating. Hopefully the love for my family will serve as great motivation too – I want to be here for a very long time, God-willing!

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