The Return of the Calorie Count and Censoring Sex Crimes

Hey, dudes/ladies, check out this adorable-as-all-hell travel mug I bought for myself at Newbury Comics on my birthday shopping trip.

I brought it with me on my grocery shopping trip this morning, and looked classy as a mofo.At the moment, I am drinking copious amounts of green tea out of it in an attempt to flush out the massive quantities of bloat I acquired in between yesterday and today; yep, I gained 3.4 pounds overnight, and am now 130.6. Peachy, no? Of course, yesterday, I was voluntarily going to count calories beginning today, but now that I actually have to, I am like, “NOOOOOO THIS IS SO UNNATURAL, LIKE TWIMOMS, SERIOUSLY THOSE WOMEN ARE WAY TOO OLD TO LOVE ON TAYLOR LAUTNER THAT IS BORDERLINE PEDOPHILIA AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.”

Blergh. Of course, I am sure it is just water retention and that it is nigh impossible to gain that much weight overnight. Regardless, I am sorry for the mad repetitive binge-oriented posts as of late; when I get stressed out about one thing, I tend to stress out about everything else in my life, too. It is like my stress is the common cold, and “fear of the return of binge eating”-thoughts are that kid in your class who has the really bad immune system and always gets sick, and all my other thoughts are like, “Ugh why does he come to class when he is sick, vacation is coming up I hope I don’t get sick,” but they do. And, when I do get stressed out about a thing, I tend to obsesses over it and basically repeat the same thoughts on it over and over like a broken record.

Anyway, yesterday definitely was a binge. I’m not sure why I seem to have intuitive eating down on most days of the week but not on celebratory days/holidays. Maybe it’s because while I was dieting, I gave myself a pass to binge on said days? Ah, well. I guess all I can do is chalk it up to a learning experience and just be better prepared as the next holiday rolls around.

“But, Elizabeth, you said you were stressed about a thing. TELL US.”

Oh, blog readers, you’re so thoughtful/concerned! Or just vile gossip mongers, you bastards. Whatever, I’ll tell you anyway.

As some of you may know/recall, I recently started working as a radio anchor/reporter. This is (was?) a pretty cool thing as it is what I went to school for, but something happened last Saturday that has me mild to moderately concerned: Long story short, I aired a news piece I had pulled off the AP wire* that was about a Massachusetts priest who had been arrested for soliciting sex. I got hell of chewed out by my boss (“We don’t air smut,” “That’s not what our audience wants to hear,” etc.), and was informed that the stations on which I broadcast news generally avoid stories on “sex scandals, rape, [and] child pornography.”

On the one hand, I understand the our news airs on entertainment/music stations and now dedicated news stations, but on the other hand I’m troubled that we’re a) censoring content and b) grouping together stories about sex scandals and rape. It just makes me uneasy, and my job feels trivial; are we only supposed to feed people fluff?

What are your thoughts regarding stories on sex crimes? Do you expect “softer” news when you’re listening to an entertainment station rather than a station dedicated to news/talk?

* For those who are unfamiliar with how news works, many media outlets (e.g., newspapers, radio stations, etc.) use stories by the Associated Press (i.e. the AP, an extensive news agency) in their broadcasts or publications, since most news sources don’t have the resources to send their journalists all across the country. For example, the company I work for would never send a reporter all the way to the G-20 summit in Toronto, so instead we’d use a story on it by the AP for our national news segment.

Weigh-In Day: Week of June 25th/Body Snark

Ugh, dude’s my eating habits! They are hell of terrible. I weighed in at 127.2 today (Good!), but I fear that a great evil is returning to the land … the evil of …

Binge eating. (HOLY GOD, BAD)

But, I’m not sure if I should be legitimately concerned; I splurged three days this week to celebrate my birthday (which is today, actually, but for some reason I thought I should celebrate this weekend since I was working today, and then today rolled around and my mom and were like, “BOO ANTI-CLIMATIC BIRTHDAY LET’S CELEBRATE AGAIN!”), but I’m not sure if any of those days on which I splurged were actually a “binge,” or if I would have even splurged (binged?) today had I not weighed-in within my maintenance range this morning. But, on the days I splurged (BINGED?!?1?), I never ran out to buy extra stuff because I just thought, “SCREW IT! I’M OUT OF CALORIES!” but I did eat past the point of being full, and if I were in a store, I would impulse-buy a candy bar and chomp it without really thinking. Though, at the beginning of the week I was also only 124.6 pounds, and I’m not sure if I would have overdid-it had this not been the case/had I not been celebrating my birthday. Blergh. On the other hand, I know I am entirely in control of what I stuff in my face and I know I don’t want to go back to dieting and I KNOW that even though I splurged I am still within my maintenance range (and that’s part of the glory of maintenance, some weeks you eat more and some weeks you eat less but it is OK to eat more some weeks), so what am I really concerned about? Still, I kind of feel like normal people don’t gain 2.6 pounds while celebrating special events. Hm. Baby steps, I reckon.

I do have to give myself kudos, though, for taking some steps to not overeat:

a) When eating out and sharing an appetizer, I took what I deemed to be an appropriate portion off the group plate and then didn’t go back any more.

b) If I could eat healthfully, I did; I tried not make the days on which I splurged (BINGED?!?2?!?!@!? OH MY GOD I DON’T KNOW) into an all-day eating fest, and would start with something healthy like oat bran.

c) I tried to think about what I really wanted. Whereas before if I were having a “splurge” day I would just get everything and anything, I legitimately tried to keep my snacking to a minimum while out celebrating/shopping so I would have room for dinner at ze restaurant we were going to.

And, so on. OH, MAN, LOOK AT THAT LIST, SO IMPRESSIVE.

Regardless of whether I binged or splurged, though, I’m going to go back to counting calories and do a sugar detox (ie.e, no “dessert products), just for the next two weeks. I know I don’t really need to, and I’d like to get to a point where I don’t have to follow a celebratory event with calorie counting, but I just want to play it safe and make sure I don’t continue overeating. Also, every once and a while when I overdo it on the sugar, I kind of like to put a little distance between myself and the desserts and have a nice stint of clean eating to get my system back in order, you know?

In other news, a funny thing happened on my way to the forum.

Wait, no. A funny thing happened while I was out shopping (at the mall, no less, even though I detest crowds of people.) Long story short, my mother and I stopped by Eddie Bauer while we were out and decided to pick up some summer clothes. I happened to try on a dress and attract the attention of a salesperson, who began engaging my mother in the following conversation:

Salesperson: “Oh, my goodness! She looks so good in that dress!” (Aw, that’s nice.)

Mum: “Yeah, it looks really cute on her!”

Salesperson: “Ugh, she’s so thin! Look at her.” ( … OK.)

Mum: “Ha, yes, I used to be that thin at her age, too, though.”

Salesperson: “Ugh, yes, me too. Ugh, I hate her, she’s so thin! Let’s stop looking at her.” ( … WTF?)

It was just … odd. And, in this vein, I’m tired of “thin” being used as a compliment. In fact, I’m tired of size-related adjectives in general being used as compliments or insults. In my opinion, body preference is kind of like someone’s taste in movies or books or art; to each their own, ja? So, why OK to hate on or compliment someone for being overweight or underweight? For all that salesperson knew, I could have been a recovering anorexic, and her comments could have triggered a re-emergence of my eating disorder. And, not to be corny, but bodies can be beautiful at any size: Why has one shape become the standard for attractiveness? Can’t beauty come in a variety of sizes? And, why do we assume that all women want to be twigs? Likewise, why do “real women have curves?” Are chemotherapy patients who can’t keep weight on not “real women”? And, maybe some women pride themselves on being overweight or voluptuous or muscular.

/end rant

Gah, I wish I were better at organizing my thoughts. But, you get the jist, right?

Have you ever been the victim of “body snark?”

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.

Hello, Home/New Things Thursday: Mindful Eating

Yay, I made it home! And, was greeted upon arrival with a jury summons. Thanks for the “Welcome Back!” gift, government!

Since I’m going to be working at a broadcasting company right next to my hometown, my mom was kind enough to let me move back home for a bit and live rent free while I get on my feet/save some money. My mom and I get along really well, and we’ve been through a lot together—my dad left when I was a few months old, so it’s always been just her and me. Anyway, it’s great to be home. I am going to celebrate having access to a kitchen again by making Parmesan risotto from Cook’s Illustrated’s “The Best Light Recipe” cookbook. If I’m not too lazy, afterwards, this may mean you’ll get your first recipe review, soon. LUCKY YOU.

Also, I did not binge yesterday (hooray!), though I did go a little overboard. Ultimately, I only ended up using 120 more calories than was officially allotted to me*, but I definitely ate more sweets than I should have; I started with some Tim Tams and ice cream, which was fine, but then at the grocery store I impulsively snagged a bakery cookie and a candy bar. If I hadn’t chomped those, I’d have 660 extra calories today rather than negative 120!** Blergh! But, lesson learned; don’t eat treats on the run and try to keep it to one indulgence a day. I’m going to try and compensate for the extra calories I ate yesterday by eating that much less today, but—in the spirit of eating intuitively—I’m not going to not eat if I get hungry. It’s only 120 calories, after all, and that’s part of the glory of maintenance: Some days you eat a little more, some days you eat a little less. Usually, it all balances out.

Anyway, today marks the return of New Things Thursday! Hooray! Today’s new thing (Mindful Eating) is actually brought to you by Maria over at Chasing the Now (which you should start reading if you don’t already do so; it’s a great “healthy living” blog and also a really interesting look at life in Japan, where Maria lives with her husband. Personally, I’d love to visit Japan … so I can visit the Nintendo store. What?), who recently instituted the “Make Time to Dine” challenge.

When she did so, I realized I hardly ever just eat. When I eat, I’m also usually reading, watching TV or doing something else ridiculous that could probably wait until later, all of which are bad things to do while eating, especially since Maria says that studies have shown that more calories are taken in when we’re distracted while chomping. THAT’S BAD. Anyway, I pledged to take part once I got home, since when she introduced the challenge I needed every waking (and some sleeping) moment to write essays.

So, when I sat down for breakfast today, I said, “It is mindful eating time!”, especially since I’m trying intuitive eating, and part of that is paying attention to your hunger level while eating. But, how can you notice if you’re full if you’re to too busy reading a book while throwing back your breakfast?

Mindful eating was … weird. Honestly, the whole time I was eating, I wanted to reach for a book, or something. I didn’t realize how much of a habit multitasking while eating had become. But, while breakfast this morning meant I spent my meal taking a really hard look at my kitchen rather than a piece of reading material, it also meant that I savored my meal, more (it took me twenty minutes to eat a bowl of cereal, since I purposefully put my utensil down between bites). NEAT. Give it a try, dudes; you my find that when you actually pay attention to your plate, you don’t want everything that is on it.

*I’m trying to eat intuitively, but I’m still tallying calories at the end of the day just to see where doing so puts me with my intake.

** I’m still doing the “bonus calories” system at the moment, too, but any caloric allowances are really more of a guideline now that I’m doing maintenance rather than a hard and fast rule, especially since I don’t know how much I’ve eaten until I’ve added all my calorie values up at the end of the day.

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.

A Letter, Part Two: THIS TIME IT IS SERIOUS

Dear Self,

Congratulations, you have made it to your goal range! Again.

No, that last part wasn’t meant to be sarcastic; even if you’ve accomplished this feat before, what you’ve done is still an accomplishment, especially since it took you a third less time than it did the last time. But, what I’m implying is that the easy part is over. You’ve lost the weight, but you already knew how to lose weight. The next part, maintenance, is the hard part, because I know in the back of your mind you’re thinking about bingeing.

Don’t lie to me, I can see it! I live in your head too, you know. Here’s the thing: You’re tired of dieting, and this could be the last time for a long while that you will have had to diet, but it’s all up to you. In the past, you’ve lost the weight, learned to eat healthy, but still binged along the way and then, once you reached your goal weight, you just let loose.

This time, you’ve lost the weight, you’ve learned to eat healthier and (here’s the big part) you’ve learned how to say “No” to bingeing. That’s a lifestyle change and a lesson that you cannot let go of if you don’t want to be a chronic dieter. The last few months without bingeing were not a temporary state; they were a foundation. Keep building on it, and you may be able to move past disordered eating.

I know you want to go out, and you can’t sit at home for the rest of your life in a diet-safe bubble, anyway.

I know you don’t want to eat so much that makes you physically ill, anymore.

I know you want to eat normally and be satisfied. But, you won’t have any of these things if you return to bingeing.

You’ve made a lot of progress; don’t fall back into old habits.

Now, I know it’s impossible to think that you’ll never binge again—no one is perfect. But, you can’t go forward with a mentality where you expect to binge again. Expect the best of yourself, instead, and have good intentions every day.

Love,

Elizabeth

P.S. – Can we have an ice cream I am mad hungry

Weigh-In Day: Week of April 2nd

See, this is why I hate it when I weigh myself every day; if I hadn’t done so, I’d be all excited about these results. But, instead, I’m just disappointed I didn’t lose more.

Last Week’s Weight: 131.2 (Tanita)

This Week’s Weight: 129.7 (Weight Watchers)

Loss/Gain: 1.5

Average Daily Caloric Intake: 1,890

Excercise:

04/02: 7-mile walk/40-minute weightlifting session
04/03: 5-mile walk
04/04: 50-minute weightlifting session/2-mile walk
04/05: 7-mile walk/run
04/06: Yoga
04/07: 7-mile run/20-minute weightlifting session
04/08: 7-mile walk/run

Of course, the numbers come from two different scales (hence the “Tanita”/”Weight Watchers” notes), so my neuroses say “BLERGH THIS SCALE PROBABLY WEIGHS FIVE POUNDS LIGHTER BLERGH.” But, judging by the numbers and the weigh-ins I had the day I left home and the day after I arrived at school, realistically I’d say they actually weigh me about the same. Whatever, I’ll just use whatever scale weighs me lighter after I move home, anyway, so I’m not even sure why I’m concerned.

I’m kind of surprised, though, that I’m not at least at my pre-splurge weight of 128.4—I’m thinking that number from two weeks ago must have been a fluke. Ah, well. This week, though I’m going to up my daily caloric intake to 1,550 (50 CALORIES, DARING I KNOW): I’m not in my “maintenance range,” and I don’t want to jump the gun in the realm of upping my calories, but I’m going to do so, anyway. I’m just feeling “edgy,” you know? I’m not sure why, you’d think after almost ten flawless weeks “on plan” it’d be no problem taking off the last 1.7 pounds and sticking to the diet for a measly two more weeks, but I just need a little extra right now. Otherwise, I feel like I’m going to end up bingeing. Anyway, I’m hoping that maybe by the end of the week I’ll have lost some more weight and be able to start maintenance regardless of the hike (which isn’t really much of a hike, anyway.)

I did do a couple of things differently this past week, though:

a) I chomped more, as you can see from the average DCI.

b) I stopped doing my once-a-week double-cardio day. Granted, this just meant taking out one afternoon, high-intensity elliptical session (which probably wasn’t really doing that much harm or good, regardless), but after reading Charlotte’s post on the effects of excessive cardio, I decided to just do away with it on the grounds that I’m probably exercising more than need be without the elliptical session, anyway.

But, I have a few goals for this week (HERE IS ANOTHER LIST AH YEAH):

a) Don’t step on the scale again until next Friday! One of the things that helped me not-binge was following this tip, as the number on the scale can be hell of anxiety provoking, sometimes, even though it shouldn’t be me (IT’S JUST A NUMBER). I need to follow my own advice! And speaking of advice …

b) Write my “Anti-Binge” post. I need to get those tips down before I forget!

And, finally …

c) Be more appreciative/grateful. Not to get mad corny up in here,but sometimes I get so wrapped up in stupid complaints like “Oh, bleh, I’m not at my goal weight!” or “Oh, meh, school is so tedious!” that I forget to be thankful for things like the fact that I have a healthy, strong body that has endured binges and over-excercising and still carries me through the day, or that I’m getting a great education.

What are your goals for this week?

Side-effects

Greetings from spring break, intraweb. No, I am not flashing dudes in Tijuana; instead, I am chillaxin’ while fully clothed in the homeland. It is nice.

I almost made it six weeks on plan as per my original goal, but my splurge day ended up coming a day early so I ultimately fell short a day. Still, in between now and my graduation I have an additional six weeks to lose any weight I gain over this week/get started on maintenance, so I am pretty pleased about that. And, seeing as how I kept my splurge day to, you know, only one day, I am hoping I’ll be back down to my maintenance weight by next Friday and able to take another shot at intuitive eating/maintenance. Yay! To be honest, though, this is my last shot at maintenance; if I can’t keep the weight off this time (give or take a few pounds—everyone’s weight fluctuates sometimes), I’ll just take it as a sign that 128 is too low a weight to maintain, and I’ll stop trying to stay at that point.

But, I’m much more confident in my ability to maintain my weight after this last splurge day: Like I already said, I kept it to one day and immediately got back on plan the day after the splurge, and—for having decided ahead of time I wouldn’t have to count calories that day—I didn’t do too terribly. Usually, I would be all up in my cupboards/the grocery store on a “no-calorie counting” day, but the only additional thing I purchased was a pint of ice cream, and the only thing I ate out of the cupboards was half a serving of tortilla chips. Everything else was Easter-oriented* and given to me or consisted of a restaurant meal with family. Anyway, I definitely feel like making an effort to break the bingeing habit over the past several weeks improved my overall self-control and made it so I didn’t want to binge on my splurge day, either (though I did definitely overeat; I’m up four pounds at the moment [Oops], but knowing how my body retains water, I’m not too concerned.)

Now, I’m off to enjoy this incredibly, laziness-inducing rainy day.

*Because spring break ends right after Easter, we decided to celebrate this weekend instead of next weekend.

« Older entries