The Danger of Deadlines

/rowses self from sugar-induced coma

Blaaargh … sorry for no posts lately, guys. It has been kind of a hectic time, and also the excessive amounts of sugar I have been eating have been making me mad sluggish and also jiggly; yes, I’ve gained eleven pounds since I’ve been home (Probably more as of this morning, but let’s not talk about that). Yes, I caved to the “Well, I’m starting my diet on [DATE] so I may as well get all my eating in!” mentality, and chowed. That’s the thing about having a “start date” in mind for me, personally; I have good intentions to do well until that day, but then always end up bingeing in the days leading up to it. Though, I haven’t really been hell of bingeing; yesterday I got into the “Let’s Eat!” frame of mind, but midway through thought, “What am I doing to myself?” and just stopped. And, I just decided to go “on program” today, rather than wait until after Christmas–if I gained anymore weight, there’s no way I’d be at my goal by graduation.

So, that’s things in a nutshell. I’ll try and do a more extensive post in the near future, but I just wanted everyone to know I am not dead … just jiggly.

Change of Plans / Blogging Responsibly

I’ve been doing the one indulgence-a-day plan for about five days now, and in light of establishing that I am very much capable of eating one treat without entering a downward spiral, I think I’m going to go ahead and count calories for bit. The thing, I’m one of those people that the longer they don’t eat well for, the worse their eating habits get, if that makes sense. For example, on Tuesday I had Cookie Bars (no big deal), on Wednesday I had Jingles (also not a big deal), but Friday I had ice cream and yesterday I sat down an a quart of ice cream AND went out to dinner. Not because I was looking to binge (and I didn’t eat much else besides said ice cream and dinner), but I just thought nothing of sitting down and eating a quart of ice cream in light of my recent splurges. Just didn’t care. Today? Pie for a midmorning snack. And, I skipped my upper body workout, because I tend to get sluggish in every other part of my life when I don’t eat well. Peh. So, I guess I am capable of having one treat without going totally crazy, but I also know that I’m not a person who can eat a treat a day without seeing negative effects in other parts of my healthy living-lifestyle.  And, while people with normal eating habits may have periods of time where they can’t eat healthy 100% of the time (i.e., vacation), most “healthy” people don’t eat a treat a day, and follow a day with a treat with a day without one. Yep. Of course, in light of having pie, am I rushing out to the grocery store for treats? Nope! So, improvement noted. Weight gain also noted: 137 this morning. Yeesh.

So, I know this blog is usually me boo-hooing about my weight and such, but since my current apathy regards my eating habits and my weight, today, I decided I wanted to talk about something else today: citizen journalism, i.e., blogging.

As a Journalism student and someone looking to enter the field professionally AND someone who is studying journalistic ethics, citizen journalism is something I have hell of strong sentiments about. Granted, most of you are probably fellow food bloggers, and thus anything you or I write isn’t exactly going to completely destroy the reputation of a public figure or potentially violate any journalistic ethics, but it is my view that bloggers still have certain responsibilities to their audiences, be they newsgatherers, food reviewers, casual film critics or otherwise.

Thus, here are a few suggestions for those of you looking to blog ethically or, at the very least, in a helpful manner.

1) Minimize Harm: Hey, I love linking to other blogs, don’t you? Sharing awesome blog finds is a cool thing, and a nice way to help a fellow blogger get traffic. But, whenever you link to another blog, please make sure you know who you’re sending your audience along to; they are a lot of people on the internet who are a) gullible and/or b) very desperate for solutions and take any kind of hope they find on the internet as gospel. So, when you find that Acai Berry blog author who is just OMG SO EXCITED SHE LOST 50 POUNDS IN 3 MINUTES WITH ACAI BERRY!, take a moment to determine whether this blog is a) a safe place to send your readers and b) legitimate. If you haven’t already heard, there has been a recent rash of weight loss-oriented companies creating fake blogs as a way to promote their products, so take the time to double check whether your new, potential blogosphere buddy is actually real.

2) Act Independently: Is anyone here familiar with Avenue Q? I am not really, because I am not a person who is cultured. I sit around on my ass and watch re-runs of The Office and scoff at the prospect of “musicals” in a “theater” filled with people who wear “monocles.” Anyway, there is a song in said musical, I think, that goes “Everyone is a little bit racist!” This is true. Everyone is also a little bit biased, and it’s YOUR job to disclose said biases, particularly when they involve conflicts of interest due to commerical influences. Did you get that tasty, tasty chocolate you’re reviewing for free from the company that makes said delicious product? Then, you are obligated to inform your readers because, like it or not, the fact that you got it for free may have influenced your opinion, whether you realize it or want to admit it or not. Also, this is now the law, so just do it.

3) Be Accountable: Everyone is a little bit biased, and everyone also makes mistakes (except me, as I am perfect and amazing). Did you promote a product that actually contains cyanide? It sucks to be you, but it’s your job to inform the public of the truth so as to prevent further harm. Did a person call you out on a factual error you made on your blog via a comment on a post? Don’t delete said comment; encourage dialogue. THIS IS THE INTERNET, NOT CHINA, and if you censor legitimate criticism (key word: legitimate; don’t feel as though you need to feed the trolls) then you’re not doing anyone any favors.

If you’re interested in the source of some of these rules/interested in more ethical guidelines pertaining to journalism, check out the Code of Ethics produced by the Society of Ethical Journalists. Also, I hope this did not come off as super pretentious; I JUST WANT EVERYONE TO BE A BETTER BLOGGER BLOO HOO HOO.

By Popular Demand …

I received one response regarding what people would like to see this blog become, and majority rules, so by popular demand this blog will now be entirely devoted to pictures of sexy dudes/ladies dipping their feet in Peanut Butter:

[OK, so I actually searched on the Internet for a picture of this to put here, and there was totally not a picture of someone putting their feet in Peanut Butter, WHICH IS TOTALLY RIDICULOUS BECAUSE IF A FETISH EXISTS YOU SHOULD BE ABLE TO FIND IT ON THE INTERNET. Anyway, sorry to disappoint, Allison.]

But, I lied about the hiatus, because to be honest, this blog is partially for me; I am not an entirely unselfish person, I KNOW IT IS HARD TO BELIEVE. This is basically a public diary, and goddammit, I want to write about my PERSONAL JOURNEY. So, suck on it. But, for those of you who enjoy it, thank you for stopping by and I am glad/hope that it is somehow relatable for you. I have to agree with a certain visitor whose name I will censor to protect from the viciousness of the Internet, though; I feel like everyone and their sister’s blog mostly entails pictures of what they ate that day. This displeases me, especially when it is not accompanied by an additional commentary, like “I ate this because this food has blee-blah nutritional attributes!,” or, “I ate this because I was stressed! Grr, it’s a trigger food! Do you have those?” I like blogs to TEACH me a thing, or at least share something interesting. And, while it is sometimes interesting to see how a person eats healthy, a picture of your sandwich isn’t going to improve my own eating habits, really. Sorry. (Did that make sense?)

Also, yes, I know this started as a “food journal” blog, but I very, very quickly became bored with this, and here is the thing: Chances are, if you are bored with writing a thing, then chances are what you write is going to be boring, and no wants to read things that are boring. Well … maybe some people do. Maybe some people have a fetish for … reading boring … things … while watching women dip their feet in peanut butter.

(P.S. – If you are interested in this and want to come to my “boring content/peanut butter-dipping” convention please e-mail me at pbandboring@nofingway.com.)

ANYWAY, onwards, to unoriginal content!

So, I avoided another binge today, but while I was originally going to skip my indulgence for the day (just for the sake of being healthy), I caved and ate a thing when I became stressed. Did I binge? No, but I really want my automatic response to stress to not be eating. But, at least I didn’t binge, right? Granted, I had been craving the indulgence I had today for two days, now (I wanted it yesterday, but passed in favor of having a day where I didn’t indulge, just to make sure I still possessed some willpower), and I tried to wait it out, but I got a little stressed and headed to the grocery store for a treat. Also, in a close brush with a binge, I chomped a candy bar that ended up not getting counted. It was a big one, too (Green & Black, IT IS NOT MY FAULT I ATE YOU, EVERYONE ON THE INTERNET TOLD ME TO AND I HAD TO TRY YOU), but other than that I didn’t eat anything besides my indulgence (A pint of Ben & Jerry’s with a Warm Delight Mini … and then the other Warm Delight Mini, as there are two in a pack) and my normal 1,500 calories. Still, I really need to learn to eat only when I’m hungry; after I had my treat, I kind of just mindlessly snacked for the rest of the day because I “had the calories” (except not really, because I ATE A WHOLE PINT OF ICE CREAM AND A CHOCOLATE BAR), and if I had had bonus calories available I know I would have plowed through those, too. So, while I’m doing better with my eating habits, I need to keep my regular healthy eating habits intact post-treat.

I think the thing is that you need to pretend you have amnesia after each meal, and just have your automatic “choice” be something healthy. Sometimes, I find that if I try to overcompensate for a big snack by not having my normal healthy dinner or lunch or whatever, I just end up eating the same amount of calories over the course of the rest of the day, anyway, because I snack so much. Weird. Maybe I’ll just have to give myself a caloric “allowance” for days when I indulge in the future to prevent excessive snacking. Or, maybe I’ll actually get the hang of intuitive eating. LAWL.

Regardless, I am beginning to feel a bit … jiggly, but I’m trying to just give myself permission to indulge/gain weight in an effort to beat this binge habit. It’ll come off quick … right? And, at least I’m keeping up my excercise routine, so there is muscle tone underneath that thar pudge.

KTHXBAI.

I Can Has Break?

Hey, dudes:

Sorry for the mad repetitive posts as of late. I feel like every entry I’ve posted lately is some combination of “I binged/I didn’t binge/Here’s how I almost binged.” But, it’s just my primary focus right now; I’ve said it before and I will continue the repetitive cycle by saying it again, I know it will be much easier for me to lose/maintain my weight if I can beat this.

Anyway, I’m also just kind of drained from final exams/projects. I know most people finish things and are then fine, but I feel like I need to mentally recover. Usually I never sleep in, but the last few days I’ve been getting up at 8 a.m./9 a.m. I think the stress just took a bit of a toll.

I’m not taking a “hiatus” per say, but I’m not going to post anymore until I can think of something original to say. Or, if not original, at least until I am capable of articulating the same thoughts in a way that makes them appear original. Mwa, ha, ha.

In the meantime, feel free to leave comments letting me know what you’d like to see in this blog. Is there a void in the Intrawebs that I can fill? I am pretty flexible, unless it involves some weird-ass fetish you have. Pervert.

Negative Noms

Well, I didn’t binge yesterday, but I did burn a bunch of my caloric allowance on food when I wasn’t really hungry. Did I stay on my “one indulgence + regular diet” plan? Yep, but I really need to get out of the habit of eating random chomps after an indulgence. Today, my goal is to eat only when I’m hungry, which is a pretty assinine goal, really—how did humans get to the point of eating when they are not hungry on such a regular basis?

Anyway, I also need to learn to sit/slow down and enjoy my indulgence. Yesterday, I just ended up pile-driving the Jingles someone put in front of me rather than saving them for after-dinner or something. Ah, well. And, I know I can have a treat today (and I actually really want one, whereas yesterday I probably wouldn’t have had an indulgence except it was placed in front of me), but I just feel like I … shouldn’t. And, I know part of this plan is getting rid of that “forbidden food” mentality, but too much junk makes me feel sluggish and gelatinous. But, I want to eat a thing! Grr, choices. And, I want to get over bingeing, but I also don’t want to get too used to having a treat every day.

Did a quick four-mile run today, which was pretty rad. My hometown doesn’t have very sidewalks, though, and that makes things a little difficult on occasion. Now, I need to decide what I want to do with the rest of my day.

Experimenting in Indulgence

Ahhhhhhh … Finals week is done. I am home. Life is pretty deece. (Deece = Decent.)

I had my first day of my “one indulgence per day but count everything else” plan, yesterday. It’s funny, though, that although I said I was going to do it, in the back of my mind I thought, “Well … maybe I can actually count calories until Christmas and lose a few more pounds.” But, when I came home, I was confronted with the prospect of … Magic Cookie Bars.

Magic Cookie Bars are delightful. And also a hell of binge-trigger food, as I have absolutely no idea how many calories they contain and such, being a home made baked good. Granted, I could have calculated the calories and counted the bars, but I thought, I get one indulgence per day … Let’s do this thing.

I almost succumbed to ye olde binge while getting supplies at the grocery store: I bought a candy bar, but counted it (my plan involves following my 1,500 calories per day plan with one indulgence per day). I almost caved and let myself have the bar for “free,” but I knew if I didn’t count the candy bar, everything else would get a pass as an additional indulgence. At the end of the night, here’s what I had eaten for the day:

+ Almonds (Pre-workout snack)

+ Cereal (Breakfast)

+ McDonald’s Grilled BBQ Snack Wrap (Lunch while driving home from Brandeis)

+ Jr. Frosty (Treat)

+ Lindt Candy Bar (Treat)

+ Wendy’s Ultimate Chicken Grill (Quick Dinner)

+ Two slices of bread (Brush with Cupboard Diving)

+ Seven Jelly Beans (Wanted to try them)

+ Cookie Bars with Low Fat Vanilla Ice cream (Free Indulgence)

Ha, ha! Victory! Granted, I probably eat more cookie bars than I should have, but I also made them at 4 p.m., and the last one didn’t disappear until 11:30 p.m., and they were split among three people. I probably also ate more ice cream than I should have, but I’d say that for the first day of having a non-counted treat outside my diet plan, this is pretty good. Basically, I’m just trying to break the binge habit and learn to have one treat instead of a million. And, I might not even have an indulgence today; I’m not really craving anything, though that ice cream IS calling my name (Yes, there’s still some left.)

Ugh, I have an eight mile run scheduled for the day, and it is hell of raining outside. I’m going to just run on the treadmill, but eight miles on the treadmill is going to be so boring.

Weigh-In Day: Week of December 1

This post must be swift, like a ninja, as I have an exam to take soon (Current Internal State: “AHHHHHHHHHHHHHSDFKJSDFKJ”) OK, technically the exam isn’t for three hours; I can never sleep the night before/the morning of an exam, which is just about the least helpful trait, ever. I am so scared! Of the exam, not the scale. Anyway.

Last Week’s Weight: 131.2

This Week’s Weight: 129.4

Loss/Gain: 1.8 pounds

Average Daily Caloric Intake: 2,165

Excercise:
12/01: Yoga/Meditation
12/02: 8 mile Easy run
12/03: 4 mile Easy run
12/04: 30 min. elliptical session/1 hr. weight lifting session
12/05: 7.5 mile Quality run/30 min. elliptical session
12/06: 20 min. upper body workout/4 mile Easy run
12/07: 6 mile Tempo run

… OK, I have no idea how this happened, especially since I weighed 132.1 yesterday. I don’t THINK I’m dehydrated; I drank (and pee’d) copious amount yesterday, and I ate plenty, too (I had 1,500 calories worth of food yesterday and 1,590 on Sunday.) So … what’s the deal? Maybe I was just retaining a lot of water, and my body decided to be like, “O HAI SURPRIZ!” It’s funny, though, the last couple of days when I gave myself the once (read: twice) over, I thought, “Dang, I know I am in my 130s, but I look hella cut/feel like I’m 129.” I guess I’ll just roll with it. I mean, it’s probably a fluke, but it is certainly a really encouraging way to start my indulgence plan.

OK EXAM-PREP TIME.

Inspiration from the Internet

One of the things I love about food blogs is that so many of the authors are relatable; it’s amazing, when you start perusing said blogs, how many recovering/struggling binge eaters you come across. My problem, it seems, isn’t that uncommon.

Anyway, while I was digging through blogs looking to see how people coped with binge eating, I came across this post in Elina’s blog. I’ve been reading Healthy and Sane for awhile, now (it’s one of my favorites, and I now have a long list of Boston eateries to visit thanks to her), and it was a great source of inspiration for someone like me who is struggling with binge eating (You may remember that I quoted one of her posts relating to binge eating, before.) Anyway, this particular post essentially details a conversation Elina had with a RD regarding how to overcome binge eating. I won’t recap the whole entry here (you’ll have to read the whole thing for yourself), but the RD recommends allowing yourself one indulgence per day—but, only one.

And, after reading this entry, I’ve made an executive decision to try this plan, myself between Dec. 8 and Dec. 23, before my designated “Intuitive Eating” days. You see, this afternoon, I was literally planning the binge I was going to have the day before I started my “post-holiday” diet. And I thought, “Why do I have this all or nothing mentality?” I think the reason is similar to that behind Elina’s binges; that is, I associate not counting calories with the free-for-all day I used to have once a week during my WW days. Regardless, I need to learn to eat only what I want, rather than a bunch of junk PLUS what I wanted simply because I went over my calorie count or had an indulgence.

I’m not going to lie; I’m a little scared. But, the fact of the matter is, I feel like if I don’t do something like this, I’m not going to learn how to eat like a normal person. And, I’m freaked out by the potential weight gain; “I’m going to put on so much weight before I start my diet!” But, if I can overcome bingeing, it’ll come off that much quicker. And, I’m not losing any weight right now, anyway, because of the bingeing (in fact, as of this morning I’ve gained weight [I know, I said I wasn’t going to weigh myself before weigh-in day], which has me freaked even more.)

But, at present, I’m just trying to decide if I want to weigh myself again after tomorrow before January 1; I don’t want to get freaked out by a gain and fall off the progress wagon.

Anyway, I’m so excited to be going home tomorrow, WHOO! I just hope I don’t fail my Politics exam, though this seems like it would be pretty difficult to do considering that we’re allowed to use our notes during the exam. But … I feel like this is a trap.

OMFG SNOW

So, not to be Captain Obvious for those bloggers/readers in Boston, but DUDES IT IS TOTALLY SNOWING OUTSIDE.

And, when I say this, it is not with excitement.

I hate the cold. In fact, after graduating, I hope to move somewhere warm—somewhere where the winter doesn’t bring postponement of plans and the inability to run outside whenever I damn well please. I’ve lived in the Northeast my entire life and, quite frankly, I am sick of shoveling snow. PAH, SNOW. PAH I SAY TO YOU. Regardless, I am willing to forgive the weather so long as it doesn’t interfere with my final exam on Tuesday; it’s the last thing between me and going home for winter break, and I cannot wait to get out of here.

Luckily, I took advantage of the non-snowiness this morning and snuck in a run while the getting was good. When I first stepped outside, today, I actually had every intention of just going to the gym and doing my run there (“OMG IT IS SO CHILLAY AND I AM A WIMP”), but all the treadmills were being used! How dare these Weekend Warriors stand in the way of my desire to excercise in a warm area. I AM A BABY, GODDAMMIT, AND MUST BE CODDLED. Anyway, I took a look at the sky (it was about 8:30 A.M., and I knew snow was forthcoming), and just started charging down the street. It. Was. AWESOME. It’s funny, I hardly ever look forward to my runs, but I always enjoy them, especially when they end up happening outdoors—an outdoor run always flies by for me.

On the binge eating front, I’ve been keeping it together for the last two days (Hooray!), but I need to hit the grocery store tomorrow and all this stress is setting me up for trouble; over the course of the evening, I’ve been thinking of all the tasty things I’d like to chomp on while studying for my exam (see a connection, here?). But, I managed to “white knuckle” it yesterday, and I’m just going to keep fighting the fight. Honestly, I think you just need to get to a point where you put your foot down and say, “ENOUGH.” Am I there yet? I don’t know, but I’ve just come to the realization that I am 21-years old and I essentially eat like a domesticated animal. I need to start eating like an adult.

Part of the reason I’m stressed, though, is because I am going home, and while home I sometimes feel a certain lack of control over my eating habits. There’s a lot of focus on eating/weight in my family, and sometimes I feel abnormal because of comments they make in response to my decision to diet or eat healthfully. For example: I honestly sometimes just do not like to go out to eat—I know there are copious amounts of calories in restaurant meals, so that aspect just makes the meal less than enjoyable, and restaurant food also tends to sit in my stomach like lead. It’s just a feeling I don’t enjoy, but if I decline I get passive-aggresive commentary on occasion, and then I feel guilty for not going out with people because that’s what “normal” people do, and then I do go out and don’t enjoy it and binge. Blergh.

But, I am going to try and eat like an “adult” while I’m home; if I have an indulgence or go out to eat, that should be it. I really want to conquer this before I start my “post-holiday” diet; not bingeing will make the journey go so much quicker, and it’ll mean I can get around to eating more and maintaining my weight sooner. Yessir. It’s hard to control yourself, though, when food is right in front of you; when you get into that binge mentality, it’s like you entirely forget about consequenes. Does anyone else have this problem?

Crisis Averted

So, I’m really glad I sat down yesterday and wrote about my binge; had I not, I would have woken up today and thought, “Ugh, I binged, and it wasn’t even a progressive binge.” However, because I sat down and genuinely thought about the mental consequences of just chowing for the rest of the day, I ended up having a binge that was smaller than my last. Am I happy that I binged? No, it probably means I’ll gain a bit this week, which makes me sad (But, it’s also not like I’m that hell of far away from my goal range. Besides, no one notices those extra pounds, and if I’m around 135 pounds post-holidays, I’ll be happy, so it’s not like I don’t have some lee-way), but at the same time at least I didn’t “finish” my binge. And, I also ate what I wanted; I didn’t just binge on random food, I recognized that I was going to overeat and selected food that would at least satisfy what I was craving, and then finished the day with healthful chomps. Sure, I only ate 295 fewer calories than during my last binge, but it’s something. I’m getting closer to just learning to have that one indulgence.

However, I am getting a little wigged out by my inability to stay “on plan”/white knuckle my way through these urges, especially since I’m bingeing about once a week (it’s interesting, I didn’t realize how much I was bingeing until I started keeping track. Yeesh, maybe ignorance is bliss.)  I reckon as I gradually reduce the size of my binges, it’ll become easier to stay on track as I perhaps lose my “tolerance” for large quantities of food, and it’ll certainly be easier to follow my plan post-holidays when I’m not dealing with high stress final exams/essays. And, hopefully I’ll make more anti-binge progress between now and Christmas. But, the fact of the matter is, there will ALWAYS be stress, and I need to find a better way to deal with it. (Also, I guess I shouldn’t get too freaked out; my willpower isn’t exactly stellar right now simply because I’m not particularly concerned with losing weight at the moment. I just don’t want to gain too much.)

But, at the same time, we’re programmed to reach for food in times of stress, so I’m not abnormal. Maybe it’s just my fixation with “conquering the binge” that is making this so problematic. Do I actually have a problem? Yes, I overate, but if you were my overeating spell with a “normal” person’s overeating spell, how different would it be? The thing is, I have nothing with which to compare my “binges.”

Regardless, I would like to get a better handle on my stress so that I’m not facing constant weight fluctuations. And, like I said previously, I want to be done with dieting/bingeing by the time I graduate. I refuse to start a new stage of my life with this mentality/these habits.

It’s difficult though, to stop binges sometimes when—at the very moment you decide to binge—you honestly don’t care about your weight or your eating habits. Yesterday, I was not in a frenzy; I stopped eating and asked myself, “Self, are you sure you want to do this?” And I went out for a walk, though about it and decided, yes, I wanted something tasty, calories be damned. At that point in time, it just wasn’t a big deal. Hmm. I’m also pondering what I should do about the sweets situation; it’s too bad, really, that I didn’t stick to my “no store-bought sweets” plan, because if I had I wouldn’t have eaten nearly as much yesterday as I did. Sometimes I can eat them in moderation, but most of the time I can’t. Does this mean I should just give up desserts cold turkey? If I did, it would certainly save me a lot of aggravation, and I wouldn’t have any trouble keeping weight off, that’s for sure. But, sometimes I feel like making things off limits makes them more appealing. BUT, at the same time, if a heroine addict can give up heroine for the rest of their life, shouldn’t I be capable of giving up cookies?

I woke up this morning, though, with the worst case of the chomps; I think the hardest day to get through is always the day after a binge, even though you’re still somewhat full from the day before. Boo.

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