Candy Land

Man, some days I could care less about food and some days I could really chomp. Yesterday was the former, but today is certainly the latter. I’ve stayed on plan so far today, and I’m analyzing how I’m feeling rather than just reachin’ for the carbs; I’m definitely stressed today, particularly since I have to interview my internship supervisor for a paper I’m writing. I have mild social anxiety, and for reason the idea of talking one-on-one with people some days just scares the bejeebus out of me.

“Then why are you going to be a journalist? Doesn’t that involve … you know, talking to people?”

Well, there weird part is that 90% of the time (except for that odd day when ANY social interaction scares me), I’m fine with talking to strangers and I can do the public speaking like nobody’s business. It’s like, “I’ll never see them again, who cares!” It’s along the same lines of being able to blog about very personal things/sharing them with an (mostly) anonymous internet and being unable to discuss the same topics with family.

But, on a hungry day, I should have gone with a tried and true snack. Instead, I attempted something new and am not dissatisfied, out of snack calories and looking to nom on more. Basically, I had my first whack at Peanut Butter Oats, and I used waaaay too little Peanut Butter/Nutella; it essentially just tasted like plain oats with the occasional pocket of Peanut Butter. Bleh. It smelled divine, though; just like a Reese’s Cup.

Mmmm … Reese’s.

Is it really ridiculous that part of the reason I look forward to the holidays is the candy I get in ye olde stocking? Some store bought items I could pass up any day of the week, but I love candy from the grocery store, almost as much as I love ice cream. Here are my top five favorite grocery store candies:

1. Dove Milk Chocolate Promises with Almonds

2. Mini Reese’s Cups (I don’t know why, but I prefer them to the regular sized ones. Maybe I like the chocolate-to-peanut butter ratio of the minis, better.)/Reese’s Pieces

3. Lindt Hazelnut Truffles/Lindt “Snowman” (i.e., milk chocolate shell with a white chocolate filling) Truffles

4. M&Ms (I personally prefer the straight-up milk chocolate kind, but sometimes the mood does strike me for some Peanut M&Ms. My all time favorite, though, was the Crispy variety; I’m still mad they took that kind away.)

5. Nestle Crunch Jingles (SO GOOD. It’s probably for the best they come around only at Christmas-time. I know that they’re just Crunch bars in bell form, but for some reason they just taste a million times better to me than the bar.)

I’m also a pretty big fan of Starburst Jellybeans and the occasional Twix/Snickers, and I’ve been wanting to try these but can’t find them anywhere. Also, yes, I am aware that I could buy any of this candy 90% of the time, but its just more fun to eat when its been paid for by someone else and eaten on a holiday, so hush ye mouths.

Why am I discussing candy on a diet/healthy eating blog? Well, everything in moderation, right (Except STDs; those are not good in any amount)? Also, I am just hell of craving candy, today, and I reckon writing about candy is far better than eating it. Also, I am trying to burn time between now and dinner. Siiiiiiiiiiiiigh.

I definitely think my appetite has something to do with exposure, too, though; the past few days, I’ve been cooped up in room with no noms to look at except my whole wheat bagels. But, I went into a campus eatery this morning, looked around and thought, “Ah … this is why I binge.” The fact of the matter is, we are CONSTANTLY bombarded with images of food/food itself, and the majority of the time, what we’re looking at while in line at the store/coffee shop, etc., isn’t healthy; standing in line this morning at Einstein Brother’s Bagels, I realized how easy it is to just give in to impulse and snag that muffin or coffee cake or cookie. Food industries thrive on impulse buys. Yes, I know everyone probably realized this already, but it just continues to astound me how well marketing agencies know the human mind. I swear, McDonald’s and company must have psychologists on their staff.

Anyway, at least my run went well this morning. Initially, my legs were really tight but I just worked through it and ended up going for four miles straight. Not too shabby, no? Usually I would be looking forward to my yoga class tomorrow, but we’re just going to looking at the “meditation” aspect of yoga, tomorrow. I really practice yoga for the athletic/stretching aspect of it, but I guess it won’t hurt me to broaden my horizons a bit and maybe learn some relaxation techniques in the process; I could certainly use them.

Do you have a favorite [Generic Winter Holiday] food?

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According to Plan

Sorry for the lack of detailed posts, dudes/ladies; I’ve been plowing through end-of-the-semester papers, and honestly the last thing I felt like doing the last couple of days after writing analys … es? … z? I have no idea what the plural of “analysis” is. Yes, I am an English major. Shut up. BUT, I DIGRESS. The last thing I felt like doing the last couple of days after spending all day working on an essay was spending more time at my computer, especially since my computer is being such a d-bag; it runs Windows Vista, so the operating system has never been stellar, but the hardware has been going lately, too. Ugh. I’d shell out for a Netbook to finish out college, but I don’t want to waste money when I’m going to be graduating soon and looking at a new set of computing needs.

Anyway, it wasn’t terrible being up at school for Thanksgiving, just mildly depressing. Christmas is my favorite holiday, anyway, and Thanksgiving is all the way down at #4 on my list of “Best Holidays EVA,” but I still missed ye olde traditional cranberry/stuffing/family chillaxin’. Regardless, Christmas is the big “get together” holiday in my family, so I didn’t really miss anything that won’t be repeated in a few weeks. However, my time spent at school has been very productive, except for that hour I spent locked out of my suite on Thanksgiving Day. Which was followed by me crying in front of the police officer who was trying to make conversation when I went to the station to be let back into my dorm. Alas. Unfortunately, I’m one of those people who gets horrendously emotional when they’re stressed out.

But, while my ego was bruised as a result of stress, my waistline has not been (yet, at least); there have been several times over the last few days where I’ve just wanted to cave and binge, but I know that with every day that I don’t binge, the urge will be lessened. Ity definitely helps not having any trigger foods in the dorm, though; it’s much easier to prevent a binge when you can’t reach out and snag a pack of cookies right when the urge strikes.

Anyway, right now, as much as I would love to be losing weight and such, I really think I need to conquer binge eating first. And, I know if I can beat this, then it’ll make for a much easier time when I do get around to losing/maintaining. I really think that binge eating has just become a bad habit, and my automatic response to stress. So, I just need to replace that response with a different one and white knuckle it, I reckon.

But, I HAVE A PLAN!

From now through Dec. 23, I’m going to count calories as best I can. But, if a special event comes up, I’m going to partake. BUT, there is also a “No non-Holiday Specific Treats” ban in place, which sounds weird, but for me it makes sense; you see, my problem isn’t so much with bingeing at special events at such. Rather, its in the aftermath of those events when I think “Oh, the day is already ruined, let’s go get a pint of ice cream/random sugar from the grocery store!” So, I’ve come to associate special events/holidays with binge eating. BAD. Thus, at the moment, I’m just focusing on learning to enjoy a solitary indulgence. If I get more specific, my goal is to stay under 3,000 calories per day from now until Dec. 23. Come Dec. 24, I’m going to give myself three days of intuitive eating, during which time I’ll hopefully be able to apply the binge-restriction eating habits I’ve developed between now and then. I’m hoping that over that three day span, I’ll have lost the desire to binge and will just eat my normal meals with some holiday-specific indulgences. NO CUPBOARD DIVING*/TRIPS TO THE GROCERY STORE, SELF. Then, Dec. 27, I’ll start my full weight loss program.

I told you I was a planner.

“Too bad your plans never work,” says Pessimistic Self, who then high-fives that kid who punched you in the stomach in kindergarten.

HEY! Not cool. Also, something has to work sometime, right? And a binge eater is not who I want to be, I’ve realized. So, hush ye mouth and be amazed as I actually succeed maybe.

Blergh, I should get back to work. I’m pretty pleased, though, that I’ve succesfully added some extra excercise to my schedule; the past two days, I’ve hit the elliptical for an extra 30 minutes per day and done some upper body weight lifting. NEAT. I’m really starting to feel a difference in my fitness level, too; I’m hoping that by getting stronger now, it’ll make for an easier weight loss quest post-holidays.

*Cupboard Diving (noun): The act of eating entirely random things (i.e., slices of bread, cheese, etc.) while bingeing that usually are not particularly tasty and are eaten just because the chomper feels like eating more.

Product Review: Kettle Cuisine Angus Beef Steak Chili with Beans

I never used to be afraid of trying new things; as a general rule, if I picked up an unusual item from the center aisles of the grocery store, I could be assured that the chemicals within would guarantee the product was some kind of tasty, even if it was not especially healthy.

Since I’ve ventured into the organic realm, however, I have had more frequent run-ins with non-deliciousness; for whatever reason, certain all-natural labels seem to feel that being “organic” compensates for the fact that their product tastes like dirt. Or grass, which is occasionally an ingredient in organic products, so maybe the blame for picking up an abundance of non-tasty items is partly mine for not reading ingredient lists thoroughly enough.

But, I digress. Despite the negative results of my recent forays into uncharted organic territory, my lazy, comfort-food seeking self couldn’t resist picking up a package of Kettle Cuisine’s Angus Beef Steak Chili with Beans, particularly since it had such stellar nutritional statistics: One container of chili (i.e., one 10 oz. package—there’s one serving per container, which is nice. I always hate it when I get a pre-cooked meal home and find that one tray, etc., is actually two or three servings. Who eats half a frozen meal?) has only 250 calories, 9 grams of fat and 540 mg of sodium, which is pretty stellar for a frozen chili. And, the meal packs 8 grams of fiber and 22 grams of protein. WHOAH.

Before delving into the “How delicious was this meal?” portion of this review, I should probably disclose that this was my first brush with chili. So, even though I wasn’t a big fan of how this chili tasted, it may be because I’m just apparently not a fan of chili.

This was a very spicy dish, in that the heat wasn’t too intense (though it was enough to make my nose run a bit), but the predominant taste of the chili was definitely just … spice. If you’ve ever had pre-made taco mix, this chili tasted very similar to the kind of sauce you would find in an Ortega taco kit. However, I loved how this chili was just loaded with meat and beans. 90% of the time, I feel like I crack open a pre-made meal and find that its skimpy on the protein-oriented ingredients. In this chili, though, I got a generous serving of angus beef in every spoonful. And, the chili, itself, was very thick—not runny at all.

I can’t really attest to the chili’s staying power as I paired the dish with crackers (I was eating it for dinner), but I am pretty sure that this would make for a really filling lunch. And, even though I did have this with crackers, it was only one serving of Wheat Thins and the combo kept me full for a good two and a half hours.

I should also mention that this dish, in addition to being organic, is also gluten and dairy free. Personally, I don’t have a gluten or dairy intolerance, but I imagine good frozen, gluten free, dairy free meals aren’t exactly plentiful, so I feel it’s worth mentioning.

I probably wouldn’t pick up the chili again, as the taste just wasn’t up my alley, but the quality of the chili was so good I’m definitely going to pick up another Kettle Cuisine dish sometime soon (maybe the New England Clam Chowder. Mmm … creamy.)

The Morning After

You may have noticed from the statistic in the weight-related sidebar that I’ve begun weighing myself again. Well, the deal with myself was that if I didn’t binge, I could stay off the scale. But, because I started to chomp like crazy, I had to step back on. I’m not disappointed by the number, except in the sense that I’m disappointed by the fact that I didn’t continue to eat healthy, as being 134.2 the day after a binge probably means that I was only a few pounds over my goal range. Le sigh. Of course, that number is probably higher now that I’ve had a second binge, but, who knows—if I stay on plan this week, maybe I can pull of a small loss or maintain. Regardless, I’m restricting my weigh-ins to once a week; any more than that and I just get obessive.

I’m trying to develop a plan that’s going to work with me over the holidays, and I think what I’m going to do is begin each day counting calories, and if a celebratory event comes up, then I’ll participate, because life is short and such. But, I am no longer allowed to buy sweets for myself/outside of a social context. This may seem kind of drastic, but I feel I have good reasons to do so:

a) Sugar only ramps up my appetite.

b) Desserts take up a huge chunk of my calorie allowance.

c) Most non-homemade, storebought sweets aren’t really that good. And, they’re expensive to boot.

d) Whenever I give up sweets (e.g., during Lent), I always lose a ridiculous quantity of weight and don’t really binge. Because, if I’m not eating sweets, what’s there to binge on?

So, there you have it. And, I think once I buckle down and begin my “post-holiday” diet, I’m going to eliminate sweets altogether until I’m done losing weight. But, for the moment, I’m just trying to minimize weight-gain damage while maximizing holiday enjoyment.

… GRAH I’M SO ANNOYED I BINGED! If I had stayed on plan, I probably could have been at my goal weight by the beginning of winter break grumble grumble.

AHEM. Anyway, hopefully with the above plan I won’t gain too much weight; I’d really like to not have more than seven or eight pounds to lose when I begin my post-holiday diet, as this way I can be done in about two months if I really buckle down. Basically, I’m just shooting to be done several weeks before any major holiday so I have some time to get a handle on maintaining my weight. Fortunately, after Christmas, next said major holiday isn’t until Easter, which is April 4. And, if I don’t binge between now and then AND DON’T BINGE ONCE I START MY PLAN I AM LOOKING AT YOU, SELF, then this should be easy-peasey.

In the meantime, here are some reasons not to binge:

1) I feel horrible after. Seriously, I’m sick to my stomach after a binge, and the morning of I’m burping up last night’s transgressions. Also, I am hell of tired from not sleeping well on account of the sour stomach I had last night, so I have no motivation to run OR tackle the massive pile of work I need to do.

2) It’s wasteful AND expensive.

3) I want to eat like a normal person/be at my goal weight by graduation. Seriously, I’m going to be embarking on a whole new stage of my life and meeting a bunch of new people after my May graduation, and I do NOT want to be bogged down by this. I want to be comfortable in my body, be able to go out on a whim and just not worry about food.

Alright … running/slogging time.

Stop … It’s Reflection Time.

So, I binged again today.

I got up and thought, “The problem is that I’m trying to count calories, and the rules make me nervous. Fine, get rid of them, and just put dieting aside for right now. Nothing says you have to lose weight you’ve gained right away. Just forget about it for right now.”
Well, I reckon the freedom went to my head, because although I started off with a healthy breakfast (“I’m not the hungry, so I’ll have yogurt. Haha! I am full of triumph!”), the day just spiraled downward from there. At the very least, though, I have to give myself credit for putting a cap on the situation; yesterday, I said, “I hope I never binge again, but if I do, I want every subsequent binge to be smaller than the last.” So, my current caloric intake to beat was 5,795 (taken from yesterday’s binge). Thus, today at most I’ll eat 5,295 calories. Next time, I’ll hopefully catch myself and only eat 4,795 calories, and so on until I don’t binge anymore and binges become normal indulgences.

But, there’s more to beating this than just setting goals of bingeing a little less than during the last episode. Do I need to go to therapy? I don’t know. Let’s start by really, REALLY looking into why I think I binge.

1. I think I binge because I’m bored. I’m not a very social entity (probably because I’m trying to lose weight 90% of the time and most social activities involve food), so my life basically entails going to the gym, coming back to room, going to class and then coming back to my room. IT’S BORING. Do I have plenty of work to do? Yes, but work is boring, and whenever I am sitting around my room I am spending most of my time thinking, “Can I eat yet? Can I eat yet? Huh? Can I eat yet?”

2. I think I binge to avoid thinking about how incredibly lonely I am. Like I said, I’m not very social, and while part of this is because I avoid restaurants like the plague, the other part is that I never bonded with anyone at my college. I’m awkward, I’m shy, I’m strange, I’m nerdy, and this doesn’t bother me, but the thing is I like other people like me, who are a little morbid, a little extreme, etc., and I never met my “pack” at Brandeis. I’m also from a low-income home, and while I’M NOT SAYING THAT WEALTHY KIDS ARE A CERTAIN WAY, well … there’s definitely a noticeable divide sometimes.

And, I’m a Roman Catholic at a Jewish school, which means that trying to find a boyfriend is practically impossible. Two years ago, I was engaged to a Jewish boy from Brandeis, and part of the reason the relationship went sour was his mother was dead set against the idea of a non-Jew entering their family. She was a horrible woman, and if she were here now I would probably take my shoe off and beat her with it. Regardless, I can’t really be bothered to get emotionally attached to a dude here at Brandeis, because I don’t want a repeat of that situation.

3. I think I binge because I’m freaked out by failure. I can’t fail at a diet if I don’t try, right? So, if I start tomorrow post-binge, I have a nice, clean slate, and I will totally follow my plan until I am done losing weight this time. But … while cheating just a little is better than bingeing, it’s like … my brain doesn’t understand that concept. It’s like, I start each day and everything is fine, but then as the day progresses (some days, that is), I begin to think, “I kind of want a big lunch, but, oh man, what if I get hungry later and I don’t have enough calories? OhmyGodOhmyGodOhmyGod what am I going to do?” This is a hard one to explain, this “black and white,” “clean slate,” “perfect streak” mentality. But, if you’re a dieter, chances are you know exactly what I’m talking about.

4. I think I binge to avoid being at my goal weight. Now, this is an odd one; every time I start a diet, all I can think of is, “Dang, I can’t wait to be done!” But, I think I’m afraid of getting there and still having to keep my eating habits in check. It’s like, while I diet and subsequently binge, I have an excuse to not eat well. But, if I make my goal weight, I have to be on my toes all the time. And, when I did hit my goal weight, the pressure got to me. It was incredibly intimidating to be at my goal weight and still have to keep an eye on my calories and eating habits. But, physically, I feel/felt great. It’s just that my mental state was a mess.

5. I think I binge because I’m stressed. No, really; the last time I binged (prior to this week), I was studying for a Politics midterm. Remember Jakarta? Honestly, I think I abuse food the way some people abuse alcohol; I use it as a way to forget that there is work to be  done or there is the potential for failure in my future. And, I binged this week because I’m staring down four incomplete projects/papers and an upcoming final. And, I’m stressed about gaining weight over the holidays. So … I binge.

That’s all I can think of at the moment. Now, do I need therapy, or just a distraction? For the moment, though, I think I’m going to give up dessert products and see if that helps my appetite—I wonder, sometimes, if I’m addicted to sugar. Regardless, this is a good time to take a break from the sweet stuff, as all the on campus food facilities are going to closed for the holidays. So, it’s kind of hard to buy cookies when the stores are shut up.

Bleh … I feel like crap. Whenever I get done with a binge, I never say, “Boy, that sure was worthwhile!”

Edit: And another thing, I think I binge because I want what I can’t have. Most sweets, etc., are too high calorie to include a daily basis (and, even people that eat normally don’t do so for just this reason), so my day-to-day food becomes unappealing in comparison. “I don’t want this tuna! I want cookies!” But, at the end of a binge, the food I’ve eaten is never as good as I thought it would be.

True Life: I’m a Binge Eater

Alright.

I guess I’ll talk about it.

Now, if you read both posts I made yesterday, you’ll know that I already felt a binge coming on at the beginning of the day. In retrospect, I have to ask whether that was a legit feeling or an excuse for a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Regardless, the minute that candy came in the mail, it was all over. It shouldn’t have been; a normal person would have eaten the candy their mum sent them and then moved on. I didn’t. In the interest of full disclosure, here’s what I ate yesterday and when I ate it:

+ 7 A.M. – 2 P.M.:

– Almonds (80 calories – Normal pre-workout snack)

– Cereal and Milk (260 calories – Normal Breakfast)

– Turkey sandwich with an apple (220 calories – Normal Lunch)

+ 2:15 P.M. – 2:45 P.M.

– 6 Truffles (450 calories – Part of candy package)

– 7 oz. of Peanut Brittle (1050 calories – Part of candy package)

+ 3:30 P.M. – 7 P.M.

– Haagen-Daaz with a Hot Fudge Brownie Warm Delight (1245 calories – Purchased W.D. during trip to grocery store on Sunday; was saving for dessert this week)

– Two Thomas’ Whole Wheat Mini-Bagels (220 calories)

– 1 oz. Peanut Brittle (150 calories – Part of candy package)

– Kashi TLC Bar (120 calories)

– ANOTHER Kashi TLC Bar (120 calories)

– Kashi GoLean Cereal (150 calories)

– Two Tim Tam Cookies (190 calories – Supplied by roommate)

– Thomas’ Whole Wheat Bagel (110 calories)

– Pretzel Sticks (120 calories)

– Oreos (400 calories)

+ 9:00 P.M. – 10:00 P.M.

– Twix Ice cream Bar (280 calories)

– Yogurt Parfait (230 calories, but I didn’t eat all of it.)

– M&Ms (240 calories)

– Cereal (160 calories)

Grand Total: 5,795 calories

Also, everything eaten between 3:30 and 7 P.M. was snagged from my normal food supplies, and everything eaten after 9 P.M. (with the exception of the cereal) I made a conscious decision to go out and buy.

I’m trying to find some redeeming qualities to this day, but I’m having a hard time with it. I guess it could be said that the majority of the calories I ate were supplied by the candy sent, rather than food I went and bought even though I wasn’t hungry. But, I ate so much even though I wasn’t hungry; even if I had just eaten the candy, it wouldn’t have been that bad. I guess I could at least find comfort in the fact that this binge was smaller than my last and, perhaps, the smallest I’ve ever had. But, that’s not good enough. And, now I don’t know where to go from here.

I had 1,695 Bonus Calories available (it was a new week, today), but that still puts me 2,600 calories in the hole and with no Bonus Calories to help me through the week. Do I try to cut my calories the rest of the week to make up for it? Or, do I just move on and forget about it? And, why can I only make it through a week of my program, lately? I dieted for years, and now, I fall apart whenever I try. What should I do? Give up counting? Just throw in the towel? Count it up to stress and just give up on losing weight between now and Christmas, and just accept that I’ll have another long road ahead of me come January?

Usually, I’d try to be a little light hearted and take it in stride, but I’m so tired of this: Of not being able to just not eat, of not being able to just buckle down and lose weight, of not being able to stay at my maintenance weight, of thinking about food 90% of the time, of not being able to enjoy my life because of my obsession with losing weight.

What am I supposed to do?

Rage!

Yes, I binged.

No, I don’t want to talk about it.

Alright, I’ll say this much: Yes, I’m furious. Also, I made it six days. Now, I will make it seven days without bingeing, AT LEAST, and then I will keep going longer and longer without a binge and eventually it will stop.

I didn’t make it today, but I will make it someday.

It’s kind of terrible how weight loss can ruin the small joys of life; my mom’s package is due to arrive today and I both want it (because, hey! It’s a package from my mom) and don’t want it, because if it contains food, I feel like it could set me off on a binge. I’ve been doing really well the last few days, but today I just woke up with that frantic feeling. At least I’m aware of it, though. I’m also anxious because, even though I’m not weighing myself, my pants definitely feel a bit tighter–but, at least I still fit in them, I guess. Also, it’s definitely easy for my mind to play tricks on me:

“Wait, the last time I wore these pants, didn’t they sag in the butt?”
“Hm, the sleeves on this shirt feel looser. Neat! Oh, man, but that muffin top DEFINITELY didn’t show the last time you wore this.”

And so on. Honestly, some days I could analyze the hell out of my appearance to guess my weight. I should go work for the circus.

I’m actually pretty pleased with how I look at the moment. The thing is, though, if I were to step on the scale and were in my 120s, I’d say, “I knew I looked fabulous!”, but if I did the same thing and were above 130, I’d think, “Ugh, I WAS SO BLIND AND FOOLISH.”

Regardless, my appetite probably isn’t helped by the fact that I’m a) stressed, b) sleep-deprived and c) running on fumes–for some reason, I thought it was a good idea to bank calories in case my mum did send food, so I haven’t eaten more than 1,450 calories in the past three days. It actually didn’t bother me at all, but I’m feeling it today.

I want to do well, though; I’m hoping that by Dec. 8, I’m around 130. If I am, I’d like to give myself the opportunity/permission to gain a bit of weight and eat intuitively before Christmas. I know it sounds weird, but I feel like I need to learn to gain weight and indulge like a normal person. Here’s how normal people gain weight:

“Oh, no! I went on vacation for a week and gained one/two pounds! Oh, well. I enjoyed myself.”

Here’s how I gain weight:

“Oh, no! I binged for a week and gained five pounds! Half of what I ate wasn’t even worthwhile.”

Problematic. Anyway, we’ll see whether I can stay on plan in between now and when I go home. But, I would like to just be able to take a break for a few weeks from “dieting” and counting calories: I may be moving away from the homeland after college, and part of enjoying home is … well … eating its native cuisine (i.e., that fried seafood joint’s shrimp platter. Mmm.)

Blergh, time for class.

Speed Demon

Technically, “No-Binge November/a small portion of December” (which shall henceforth be known as “NBN/D,” as I am lazy) started on Tuesday. However, as of yesterday, I have a week between myself and my last binge and have been on-plan (on plan?) for a week. However, just because I have been on-plan (ON PLAN?! WHICH IS IT? I think I just feel the need to add unnecessary hyphens to everything.) and I’ve stayed within my daily calorie allowance doesn’t mean my eating habits have been stellar: One bad habit—that has been bugging me for awhile, actually—is my tendency to speed-eat snacks some days like nobody’s business when I get either a) really hungry or b) develop a really bad appetite. Now, these episodes don’t develop into binges, so they’re not the worst happenings in the world, but they’re a huge waste of bonus calories. Check out my afternoon on Thursday:

– I was mad hungry, so I stopped by the convenience store and grabbed a Luna Bar (180 calories). What’s odd is that I was ready to eat the shingles off the house at this point, but I breezed by the junk food.

Then, I got back to my room and the problems started.

– “I’m not that hungry, now, since I just had a Luna Bar.” –> Turkey Sandwich (160 calories)

– “… OK, that sandwhich just made me hungrier.” –> Baby bagel with Nutella (160 calories)

And then, within the next half hour, I consumed the following without really pausing to think whether I was actually still hungry or just hosting a monster appetite:

– Bowl of Kashi GoLean Crunch (200 calories)

– Baby bagel with Nutella (160 calories)

– Kashi TLC Bar x 2 (240 calories)

Now, none of these things are particular unhealthy—in fact they’re all very nutritious foods. But, did I need to eat all those snacks? No. I should have stopped myself after the first baby bagel and set a time or some such thing for twenty minutes; then, if I were really still hungry, I could have another snack. But, by the time I was done eating all that food (food that I have on a regular basis), I could have had a special treat or something. I’m particularly mad that I blew these Bonus Calories, too, as my mum said she sent me a “Thinking of You” package (Awww!) since I’m not coming home for the Thanks-Give, and said package could contain candy, which I will want to chomp right away. Fortunately, I actually went 100 calories under my daily caloric allowance, yesterday, so I banked them for possible package-related noms.

However, in light of yesterdays under-eating, I have to return to my mum’s oft-repeated sentiment; “You know, if you just ate healthy, you’d probably lose/maintain your weight.” And, she’s probably right. I ate intuitively yesterday and naturally ate less the day after eating more. But, when I count calories, that’s when I binge. And, look at these reviews from the Intuitive Eating book (which I’d very much like to read):

“As a child I always enjoyed eating, but I was not overweight. In fact, I didn’t think too much about food at all. I went on my first diet at age 15, with the goal of losing 5 lbs. After I lost 5 lbs by eating a lot of salad and little else, I could fit into all my jeans and a few people commented on how good I looked. I was hooked…..I lost another 5 lbs. and looked great (probably too thin, but I thought I looked great!), but the constant restricting and hunger made me start to obsess about food! I would end a 2 day fast by eating an entire bag of cookies….My first diet was the beginning of a 20 year cycle of fasting and compulsive eating that left me 75 lbs overweight. I’ve been in lots of Compulsive Eating support groups over the years and I’ve heard the same story. If you put a child in a room filled with candy and junk food and tell her to eat whatever she wants, the food will quickly lose much of it’s appeal……or tell her not to eat one bite and see how important that food becomes….
This book addresses many of the issues behind compulsive eating, and with lots of work on my part, it made me sane again (and 60 lbs lighter).”

“I jumped right into this eating approach with both feet about a month ago. When I started this diet I was a restrictive eater/binge eater. I was about 10-15 pounds overweight. I weighed myself one to four times a day. I never kept any food in the house that might truly make me want to eat a lof of it. Then, when I was out and had access to food that I craved, I would binge heartily. I’m extremely knowledgeable about nutrition, and only allowed myself to keep whole grains, no trans-fats, etc. in the house.
I really thought that I had a very healthy approach toward food. Then, I started intuitive eating a month ago. At first, it was stadium franks, hot dogs, chocolate, cream horns, turnovers, and a lot of them. I weighed myself recently, and found that I had only gained 3 pounds after eating this way to my heart’s content. I stopped when I felt satisfied, and only ate when I felt hungry.
Just recently, do I feel the need for sugar/fat tapering. I’m starting to crave strawberries and cooked cabbage. I’m down to 2 cream horns a day, instead of 5. I don’t even care to eat most of the other sugary food I keep around. I have to throw it out. My pants are starting to feel like they’re loosening back up slowly.
I can’t believe it. I’m 33. I’ve obsessed about my eating, dieted and binged (sometimes on a daily basis) for the past 18 years, only to weigh more than ever.
Now, to be surrounded by the food I always craved and binged on, and to not even want it is amazing!!!!”

Sound familiar? Yeah, same here. So, is it time to finally ditch the scale? Down with the count? THESE ARE THOUGHTS I HAVE.

Anyway, time for ye olde run. I hope the treadmills at the mini-gym are open; I’m feeling wimpy today and don’t want to chillax with the cold (though, according to my dashboard widget, it’s currently 43 degrees in Boston, which is actually pretty toasty. We’ll see.)

Appetite for (the) Destruction (of Cookies)

Lately, I’ve been trying to get to the root of my appetite. What’s really behind the binges?

I have a few suspects in mind, some of which are the usual:

– Stress!

– The Diet (i.e., “Black and White”) Mentality

– Lower Calorie Intake

Some, though, I’m still investigating. Like …

– Diet products. Sometimes, I feel like the more diet soda, etc., I consume, the more ramped up my appetite. I’d like to cut back, but some (most) days, all I need to satisfy a sweet tooth is a sip of the chemical cola. But, if it’s causing more damage in the long run, I should probably give it up.

– Less sleep?

– Increased excercise. In retrospect, I find that I frequently binge the day after I ramp up a workout; for example, my last binge came the afternoon after a day on which I had worked out twice (and it was the first time I had excercised twice in one day in awhile.) But, this could just be coincidence—you would think that an increased appetite would hit the day of said increased excercise, but, maybe not.

– Lack of nutrients. Sure, I eat healthfully, but am I getting enough fat, protein, calcium, etc.? I actually started out today writing out the nutritional statistics of everything I ate to see how I was doing, nutrient wise … but I got lazy midway through the day and called it quits. Better luck tomorrow, I reckon.

Of course, the binges could just be blamed on the fact that I’ve let it become a bad habit, again. Hmm.

Also, my apologies for the hell of short post; I guess my mind is just elsewhere.

What ramps up your appetite?

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