Down the Hatch/Tubes

It was like the perfect storm, but with more candy and less water.

I was set to go out to breakfast on Sunday, and the day before, a bag of ill-bought Reese’s cups depleted the calories I had been saving for said breakfast. Sunday, my frustration over my lack of self-control combined with sleep deprivation combined with stress combined with PMS to form … the perfect binge.

Dudes, I had gone ten weeks without bingeing. I thought I was golden. Then, WHA-BHAM! I consume 6,000 calories in one day. WTH?

Even now, four days later, I’m still hell of pissed off about it. Now, I’m not mad about any weight I may have gained (I was below range the last time I weighed in, after all, and it was just one day), but rather the lack of intuitive eating I practiced/the random eating I did. Basically, I went back to cupboard diving and ended up eating random, non-worthwhile P.O.S. foods like slices of bread. Plus, had I not binged and just had ONE thing, I could have had a pint of ice cream every day this week for the amount of calories I ate that one day. And, trust me, I would have much rather have had a treat per day than one day of stuffing myself and subsequently restricting. BUT, I ALWAYS FORGET THIS ARBDFHSDFSDJFH.

Ah, well. At least it didn’t turn into a multiple-day binge. In light of this, though, and the fact that I’ve been feeling really weak/rundown lately (like, “going to bed at 9 p.m. and feeling sore all the time”-weak) I was thinking of doing one of a couple of things for the summer, or until I’m done with my very physically demanding job at the cemetery:

a) Eat a bit more on a daily basis. Of course, this sounds like the most fun option, but I don’t want to get accustomed to a certain culinary lifestyle, so to speak, only to have to cut back come fall.

b) Indulge a bit every day. Quix left a great anti-binge tip on my last post; that is, indulge a bit every day in something small to keep from over-doing it like I did. And, the fact of the matter is, I am pretty restrictive on a day to day basis. But, I definitely can’t keep some things—like candy, evidently—in the house. What are you favorite small sweets that you keep around/can eat in moderation?

c) Exercise a bit less. I’m kind of hesitant to cut back on my exercise (for reasons I’ll go into another post coming up soon), but I feel like it’ll be easier to increase my exercise again than it would be to decrease my chomps come fall. So, I’m 90% sure that I’m going to go with this option and have a “taper week” every other week rather than every three weeks. I’d also like to allow myself some more splurges, but now my trust in my self-control is kind of obliterated. And yet, I’m thinking of finally giving up calorie counting, cold turkey.

After this weekend’s binge incident, which was essentially inspired by a “lack of calories” that should not even have been taken into consideration, because being at my maintenance weight means any calorie-oriented limits are merely guidelines, I’ve come to the conclusion that calorie counting while at my maintenance weight is keeping me from truly eating intuitively. I’m a little hesitant to give it up, though, as I feel like calorie counting is kind of like a speedometer—without it, I wouldn’t know I was eating too much/driving too fast until I gained weight/got a ticket. But, if I’m truly eating intuitively, I shouldn’t gain a massive amount of weight in between weigh-ins, anyway. And, getting rid of calorie counting would set me up to eat more according to true cravings/needs rather than according to numbers. But, I’m scurred. How will I know if I can consume certain “extras” in a day, like a glass of milk, an extra serving of rice or a cookie from a co-worker?* I know how to eat, though; it’s not like I’ll eat donuts on Monday, forget about it, and eat a pint of ice cream on Tuesday. I’ve also maintained my weight for about two months, now, and for most of that time I haven’t been calculating how many calories I’ve eating during the day until the end of the day.

What do you dudes think? Have any of you spent years calorie counting, only to give it up? I’m wondering, though, if I shouldn’t set up some rules for myself if I do give up calorie counting (e.g., only one “indulgence” per day, which I should be following, regardless—if I had followed this rule on Sunday, I’d be a lot better off, that’s for sure). Any suggestions?

THIS POST NEEDS MORE BOLD TEXT. OK, I’m done, now.

*OK, I would probably not eat this cookie regardless, unless it was a commercial cookie and I saw the package it came out of it. Homemade, though? Lord knows where that cookie has been/what the kitchen it was made in looks like. Gross.

Positive Reinforcement

PHEW. OK, I finally have a few moments.

Post-graduate life has been hell of busy. Shortly after starting my job at the cemetery, I began my journalism job and immediately picked up a few extra shifts. The result was working 12 days in a row, and even now I’m still feeling a bit overwhelmed, having not quite gotten into the groove, yet. Anyway, I’m not really sure how I feel about my radio position, still, but that’s a post for another time.

Anyway, here’s today’s weigh-in results:

Last Week’s Weight (which I didn’t post about—oops): 126.3 (Weight Watchers Scale)/125.7 (Tanita)

Today’s Weight: 126.6 (WW)/125.8 (T)

Average Daily Caloric Intake: 1,830

Funny, when I don’t eat all my calories and am very active, I actually gain a bit. Though, according to the Tanita scale, my body fat percentage went from 22.6 to 21.3, though who knows how accurate that measurement is. But, maybe the gain is from over-exercising? In addition to my regular exercise routine, I’ve been doing approximate two hours of weed-whacking a day three times a week. Hm. Not only that, but I’ve been lifting/running and I really don’t feel like I’m getting any more fit.

Regardless, I am bidding adieu to the Weight Watcher’s scale, as I am convinced that it steadily weighs you heavier than you actually are in order to convince you that you still need the help of Weight Watchers. Yes, it is a conspiracy. BUT, when I first bought the WW scale, it weighed me a pound lighter than the Tanita scale! So, how do you explain that it now weighs me 8/10 of a pound heavier AND says I gained 3/10 of a pound this week, while the Tanita says I gained only 1/10 of a pound? Eh? EH?! IT’S A RACKET, I TELL YOU.

Anyway, in the last few stressful weeks, I’ve realized that good habits kind of need to be reinforced when you relocate. It sounds odd, but it’s like I had learned not deal with school-related stress through food, but I need to reinforce that good habit after moving back home and encountering a new kind of stress. For example: After being through into the radio realm, going without a day of rest and not exactly loving my new job, I was ready to eat the shingles off the house. One morning I got up with a raging appetite, and I basically gave myself permission to binge. By 8 a.m., I already had in mind what noms I was going to chomp/make myself sick on. Keep in mind that at this point, I had last binged about nine weeks ago—I thought I was golden, having made it through the (even-more) stressful time that was the final exam/paper period. But, here I was back home, ready to binge. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, as my binge eating originated at home during high school. Still, I am now less than pleased that I gave myself permission to self-treat with food, even though I ultimately ended up not doing so; fortunately, it seems some intuitive eating instincts have developed and kicked in that day, as when I went and got a sundae for lunch, I consumed it and said, “Oof, I’m full/satisfied.” And the rest of the day was healthy.

Moral of the Story: Bad habits never seem to be entirely banished. I feel like I did myself a really big favor, though, by not going back to binge eating as a way to deal with stress, even the one time, because that one time is never just one time.

Blergh, work tomorrow—what do you dudes have planned for your weekend? Sunday, I’m hoping to just sit on my ass and play video games. I hope it’s not sunny that day; whenever I stay inside on the weekend, I always feel guilty if the sun is out.

Goodbye, Brandeis

College—it is over.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I am more than happy to be hoofin’ it out of here. But, it’s still odd to say goodbye to a place where I spent the better part of four years of my life. I’m looking forward to going home, though, and starting a career; I feel like I’ve been spinning my wheels for a while here, now, and going into broadcast has been my entire reason for going to school. Now, I finally get to be a reporter and an anchor.

As an aside, though, I think the university system could stand to be revamped: For someone like myself who wanted to be a journalist, was it really necessary to take courses like astronomy, which I only enrolled in fulfill a university requirement? And, when am I ever going to use the skills I learned in English classes in which we discussed Proust? They were great classes, sure, but should I have to take classes that aren’t relevant to my career just because you have to take courses for four years to graduate? Peh.

Anyway, I’m a bit nervous about today, just because I’m a celebratory eater. If something rad happens,* I want to eat to celebrate, and I’m hoping that since I haven’t binged in six weeks I can keep up my good habits today. And, really, why be worried? Everything that I eat is my decision; no one is going to force me to binge, so having decided not to binge, now, I know that everything is going to be fine. Problem solved!

Wish me safe travels, dudes! I’ll try to start posting more often soon, but at the moment, I need to just get home!

* I’m also a stress eater. And a sad eater. … Alright, I guess any emotion is really an excuse for me to chomp, whatever.

The Binge Beat-down Post

First off, I feel the need to make a disclaimer: Although I have been without a binge for quite some time (four weeks, I think, and I’ve only binged twice in the past 13 weeks), I reckon I don’t really think I’ve “beat” binge eating. I don’t think that I’ll go without a binge ever again, but there is a big difference between bingeing every few months when you’re presented with delicious noms at the holidays or you just really want deliciousness and bingeing every week and feeling like you’re an emotional wreck afterwards. Everyone binges sometimes, and that’s OK, but the key word here is “sometimes.”

Anyway, if you don’t recall, before my blogging break I was bingeing about every one to two weeks. Part of this was because of stress, part of it was because of a mish-mash of other reasons, but regardless I know other people struggle with this, and I want to share some of the changes I made that allowed me to shake this, somewhat. I hope it helps, because I know how frustrating being a binge eater can be. Also, you’ve probably seen some of these tips before and are going to be like, “OMG I’VE READ THESE IDEAS ALREADY.” Yes, but have you tried them? Regardless, if I’m reiterating them here, it’s because they worked for me. Also, some of these tips may be more “don’t-binge-while-on-a-diet”-oriented then others, as I was trying to lose weight AND quash bingeing at the same time, so if you’re just trying to maintain your weight some of these may not apply to you.

a) You gotta want it. Or, you have to be ready. Honestly, I think for some time I didn’t really care if I continued binge eating. For me, I was in college, i.e. not the “real world,” and I could always just lose the weight next semester before I started my “new life.” Granted, impending graduation is what finally made me get my act together, but if you really don’t want to stop bingeing, then you’re not going to be able to. And, in this same vein …

b) Find an alternative motivation for wanting to lose weight/stop binge eating besides “being thin.” My primary motivation to stop binge eating was, as I just mentioned, not wanting to graduate and enter a new stage of my life as a binge eater. But, I was really helped through the first few weeks of trying to break the habit by two other motivations: The first was that I was thinking of joining the military at the time (and am actually still pondering this), and I kept telling myself “The lighter I am, the faster I’ll run at the physical exam.” My other motivation actually came from someone else’s blog post: A 50-something year old woman happened to comment on a post about how she had been a yo-yo dieter for the last 30 years. It hit me at that moment that if I didn’t put my foot down and stop binge eating, I could be that woman. I could be that person who avoids social events because they are constantly on a diet and spends their whole life obsessing over food. And I didn’t want to be that person—I wanted to be someone who, you know, actually enjoyed my life and wasn’t constantly worrying about my weight.

c) Make a pro and con list when you feel like bingeing. Alright, the frenzy is on you, IT IS HERE. What do you do? Personally, I trained myself to make a pro and con list relating to binge eating. Usually, my thought process went like this:

“OK, what are the pros to binge eating right now?”

“I’ll feel better for a little bit. Also food is tasty.”

“Anything else?”

“… No.”

“OK, what are the cons?”

“I’ll be disappointed with myself. I’ll feel terrible tomorrow. Excessive quantities of food are expensive. I’ll gain weight.”

“Then you shouldn’t do it, should you?”

“No.”

“OK, then.”

And that was that. Once you realize how irrational it is to binge eat, it becomes easier to get through the moment.

d) Distract your mind. OK, that list thing didn’t work. But, guess what? I found that if I could just get my mind off of it for about five minutes, the feeling would usually pass. So, what did I do?

Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance” video is about five minutes. Turn it on. Rock out.

Buy a coloring book so that when the frenzy strikes, you can color. No, really. I bought (or, my mom bought for me, because she is awesome) a coloring book entitled “Danger from the Deep.” It has pictures of Batman, and I found that when I took a crayon to that sonofabitch, I became so focused/lost in thought it was easy to get through those five minutes. Not in an area where you can color/at work/in a store? Bring your music player to the store/work and when you’re in a munchy-mood, take a “bathroom break” with your mp3 player or crank up the music while you’re cruising the aisles; I found if I was playing tunes that conjured up sexy gyrations, etc., I didn’t really want to overeat.

e) Distract your mouth. OK, you are still in a frenzy. Start drinking—tea, water, whatever. Pop a hard candy. You know Lifesavers? They should also be called Dietsavers; I was in the grocery store one day and was 90% sure I was going to binge when I spotted the sugar-free Lifesavers (One of my few exceptions to the “Minimal artificial sweeteners” tip below, so long as I only eat them when I’m in danger of bingeing). I tore that bitch open and popped a few right there, and the taste kept my mouth busy and lessened the binge-edge. And, if you’re worried about the cashier giving you the evil eye for eating a product in the store, trust me—They could care less. And, if they do care, screw them. In fact, right now, stop giving a shit about what everyone else thinks and just start caring about what you need to do to get over binge eating, because whatever that may be is way more important than the opinion of random check-out girl/guy.

f) Always be prepared. Remember those mints I just talked about? Keep some in your kitchen cabinet/purse/desk drawer for when the binge monster rears its ugly head. Always have a bottle of water on you. Keep a protein bar with you, unless you’re like me and can’t wait to eat it when you actually need it. Keep your music with you. Have distracting YouTube videos bookmarked so you can fire up something amusing right away. Be ready.

g) Take a look at your diet. As I mentioned in this post, integrating more healthy fats into my diet made a HUGE difference in my appetite. And, according to science, if you’re constantly craving food/always feel as though you could binge eat, you’re probably missing something important in your diet. It may be fat, it may not be, but regardless it might be a good idea to tally up the protein, iron, fat, fiber, etc. that you get on a normal eating day; you may be surprised to find you’re lacking an element in your diet that could easily be integrated into it.

h) Minimal artificial sweeteners. For a while, I’ve wondered if artificial sweeteners were wrecking havoc on my appetite. So, this time around, I pretty much cut them out altogether. Granted, I still pick up a Diet Snapple every once and awhile (because it is a tasty beverage), but I probably have a product that contains artificial sweeteners at most once a week.

i) Take a multivitamin every day. This is in line with the “take a look at your diet” idea. You may be missing out on some essential nutrients by dieting, so try and a pop a multivitamin so you are at least covering some of your bases.

j) Pretend you’re someone else. OK, this is the most ridiculous of the bunch, but just hang with me for a second. When I wanted to binge, I would sometimes think, “This is not behavior befitting a Naval Officer!” (’cause, you know, the military thing). And, the thing is, binge eating isn’t behavior becoming of anyone. So, the next time you’re thinking about bingeing, think about what future you/your trainer/someone else you think is rad or healthy would do.

k) Think about what you really want to chomp. Whenever I had a ravenous appetite, I would think, “OK, self, you can have one thing—what do you want?” If I couldn’t pinpoint one thing that I reallyyyyy wanted, I knew I was just looking to eat copious amounts of food. If I could name something, though, and I legitimately, seriously craved it, then I chomped it. Chances are, if you give yourself a break every once and a while, you’ll be less likely to binge in the future. BUT, I always made sure I only chomped that one thing, because Naval Officer-me would practice restraint like a dignified lady who eats normally.

l) White knuckle it—you’re forming a good habit. OK, you’re in the store, and you see all the treats you want to buy, but you can avoid a binge by just making ONE GOOD DECISION to not buy the chomps. The same goes when you’re at home and want to plow through cupboards. And, here’s the thing: Every time you make that one good decision, or every time you start to binge but put the breaks on, you’re forming a good habit. Basically, you’re building a “Good Choice Muscle,” as I like to call it. Every time you make a good decision, making good decisions in the future will come more easily to you, and the more good decisions you make and the longer you go without bingeing, the less you’ll want to go back to square one. Is it hard sometimes to make a good decision and outlast the frenzy? Yes, but just grit your teeth and bear it—If not eating is the worst experience you’ll ever have in your life, consider yourself lucky.

m) Integrate some yoga-time into your schedule. Yoga practitioners are more likely to practice mindful eating, too. Neat, no? And, it’s certainly proved true for me.

n) Know thyself, and stop keeping that junk food in your house. My hairdresser is stick thin, and it’s not because she doesn’t love sweets or hates food; in fact, she told me that she can’t keep packs of Hershey bars in her home, because she’ll eat them all. Bottom line: Non-binge eaters have portion control problems, too, but they just don’t keep certain trigger foods in their house.  Is that “value size” pack of candy on sale, and you know this time you won’t eat it all? YES, YES YOU WILL, STOP FOOLING YOURSELF. SERIOUSLY. I know if I buy a bag of Dove chocolate, I’ll eat the whole goddamn thing, so, guess what? I buy a single serving bar, instead. And, 90% of the time you can buy your favorite foods in single-serve portions. And, just because you can’t exercise portion control doesn’t make you a bad person, it just makes you human. Recognize that, learn from it, and put down the gallons of ice cream that are buy one, get one free, because if ice cream is your trigger food, you’re just putting yourself unnecessarily in a lair of temptation.

o) Don’t be afraid of hunger. One of the big things I see when I look at dieting tips is “Don’t let yourself get too hungry!”, which is, in fact, a good idea. But, I also think it has made people afraid of hunger when they don’t need to be. “HOLY GOD,” they think, “WHAT IF I GET HUNGRY AND I CAN’T EAT/DON’T HAVE ENOUGH CALORIES?! AHHH ANXIETY/AHHH FEAR OF FAILURE BINGE BINGE BINGE.” Whoah. Chillax. Think about the worst case scenario: OK, you get hungry. So what? The human body can go quite a while without food before it gives out. If you get hungry, you’re not going to starve to death. Hunger is not an emergency (unless you’ve been hungry for a week and you really are going to starve to death); it is uncomfortable, but you can tolerate a headache/being tired, right? Then you’re going to be OK if you become hungry. And if you’re out of calories for the day and you’re hungry, then have an apple/carrot—those 50 calories are only going to amount to 1/70 of a pound at the end of the day. Not hungry enough for an apple? Then chances are you just have an appetite and need to discract yourself.

p) Stay off the scale for a bit. I used to weigh myself every day. And, guess what? It made me bat-shit anxious. But, SCIENCE IS RIGHT: YOUR WEIGHT FLUCTUATES. Sometimes, on a Wednesday, I’ll be three pounds heavier than I will be on Friday. So, if you’re dieting, weigh yourself once a week, at most; otherwise, if you’re anything like me, the number will just make you crazy-anxious and you’ll try to remedy that anxiety through binge eating.

q) Brush your teeth. OK, this one is also pretty ridiculous. But, you know how you finish a meal sometimes, and you feel even “hungrier” after you’ve eaten than you did before having done so? Brush your teeth—it kind of works along the same lines as the mint-popping deal. Regardless, I can’t tell you how many times it kept me from having my meal turn into an afternoon snackfest.

Phew. Wall of text. I think that’s it, though. If you have any questions/want me to elaborate on anything, don’t hesitate to ask, and I hope this is helpful to someone, somewhere.

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.

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.

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?

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.

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